The department works closely with our national delivery contractor, Childcare Works, in supporting all local authorities (LA) to ensure they are ready to deliver from September 2017. LAs who have specific needs are offered targeted support packages. Each LA has a dedicated programme adviser assigned by Childcare Works to support them in their preparations for delivery.
We are making record investments in the government’s free childcare offer: over £1 billion more per year by 2020. This includes £300 million per year for a significant increase to the hourly rates paid for two, three and four-year-old entitlement. From April 2017, the national average funding rates also increased to £4.94 for three and four-year-olds and £5.39 for two-year-olds. We are also investing £100m in capital funding to create nearly 18,000 additional places for eligible children to help meet demand from hardworking parents. This investment will support even more providers to deliver 30 hours.