To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of levels of government funding for the 30-hours free childcare policy.
By 2019-20, we will be spending around £6 billion on childcare support – a record amount. This includes around £1 billion extra a year to deliver 30 hours of free childcare and fund the increase in hourly rates that we introduced in April 2017.
Our average funding rates are based on the department’s ‘Review of Childcare Costs’ which was described as ‘thorough and wide ranging’ by the National Audit Office. The review looked at both current and future cost pressures.
More than 340,000 children have benefitted from our 30 hours offer over its first year, and the vast majority of providers have increased the number of free hours available to parents.
We continue to monitor both the implementation of 30 hours and delivery costs. We have recently commissioned new research to provide us with further robust and detailed data of the costs of delivering childcare for under five year olds using a representative sample of early years providers.