All parents, of three- and four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare per week, regardless of income and employment status, from 1st September, we have introduced an additional 15 hours of free childcare per week for working parents.
The department has invested an additional £1 billion per year by 2019-20 in the free entitlements, including over £300 million per year to increase the hourly funding rates paid for the early years entitlements. The Childcare Choices website provides parents with information about the government’s childcare offers in one place, as well as a childcare calculator to help parents decide what is best for their family circumstances. We also tested 30 hours in twelve early delivery areas, and are sharing the lessons from early delivery with local authorities and providers to support full rollout.
Local authorities play a central role in delivery of free early education, as they are required to secure sufficient childcare, as far as is reasonably practicable, in their area. We are working closely with local authorities and supporting them and providers through our delivery contractor Childcare Works, business sustainability support and £100m capital funding.