News story

Families to benefit from £50 million boost to childcare schemes

Thousands of new childcare places for working parents will be created thanks to a £50 million scheme announced by the Education Secretary.

The Education Secretary Justine Greening has today (10 January 2017) announced a £50 million grant scheme to provide thousands of new childcare places.

The government has confirmed a list of successful projects benefitting from grants worth £50 million, which will help to deliver the government’s landmark 30 hours free childcare offer.

Today’s confirmed projects will create almost 9,000 free places for eligible 3- and 4-year-olds, saving parents around £5,000 per year when it is rolled out from next September.

Almost 200 nurseries and pre-schools will receive a share of this funding to invest in new buildings, convert old ones and upgrade facilities.

Some of this funding will be invested in the Education Secretary’s opportunity areas which are:

  • Blackpool
  • Derby
  • Norwich
  • Oldham
  • Scarborough
  • west Somerset

These areas have been identified as social mobility ‘coldspots’ and are benefiting from additional funding to help all children to reach their full potential.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

We want Britain to be a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. That means removing the barriers facing parents who are struggling to balance their jobs with the cost of childcare, and spreading the opportunities available to hard-working families across the country.

This funding, backed by our record £6 billion investment in childcare per year by 2020, means we can make more free places available to more families across the country, helping us to deliver our childcare offer to thousands more children.

It builds on the work of 8 areas that are already delivering, a year early, the 30 hour offer to hardworking parents.

Families in:

  • Hertfordshire
  • Newham
  • Northumberland
  • Portsmouth
  • Staffordshire
  • Swindon
  • Wigan
  • York

are already benefitting from the scheme, with parents saying it has helped them to go back to work or take on more hours, as well as helping them financially.

The announcement is on top of the government’s record £6 billion per year investment for childcare by 2020 and follows the recent publication of a new fairer funding system for early years education.

This formula will see the minimum hourly rate for councils increased to £4.30 per hour, ensuring the 30 hours free offer is sustainable for providers.