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Children: Day Care

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th March 2016.

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Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policy on extending 30 hour free childcare to three and four year olds of the findings of the Family and Childcare Trust 2016 childcare survey on the ability of nurseries to provide places for the current offer of 15 hours.

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The childcare sector is healthy, vibrant and growing. More parents than ever are accessing high-quality free childcare and thanks to our plan to double the offer for working parents. We expect that trend to continue. Government statistics released in June 2015 show that the current take up rate for the 15 hours free early education entitlement is 99% for 4-year-olds and 94% for 3-year-olds. These latest figures also show 7,000 more providers are offering the universal 15 hours offer with 1.3 million children, the vast majority, taking it up. The statistics are available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/provision-for-children-under-5-years-of-age-january-2015.

We will be investing over £1 billion more a year by 2019-20 on free childcare places for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds. This includes at least £50 million of capital funding to create additional early years places, and over £300 million a year to increase the average hourly rate paid to childcare providers. This is in addition to our commitment to capital funding to create nursery provision as part of new Free Schools, which we estimate will create up to 4,000 places.

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