We have made good progress on delivering 30 hours free childcare. Eight local authorities began delivering the extended entitlement in September 2016 and around 4600 places have been allocated. In York, where all eligible parents are able to take up the offer, 100% of providers that previously offered the free entitlements are now delivering 30 hours free childcare.
An independent evaluation of Early Implementation is assessing the impact of the 30 hours entitlement. This will include insights on the impact of delivering 30 hours on providers. There will be a national event in the spring to share learning, and the evaluation report will be published in July. Learning will continue to be captured throughout the year and shared regularly to ensure that it informs all areas of delivery planning.
From April, four additional local authorities will launch 30 hours free childcare to eligible parents in their area. These areas will test specific elements of 30 hours delivery, including the impact of rurality and high parental eligibility. Our delivery contractor Childcare Works is working closely with these local authorities and the Early Implementers, continually sharing best practice examples with other local authorities at their Progress Share meetings and dissemination events to help them prepare for national rollout in September.