Quarter of childcare providers likely to close under new funding

Credit: PA

In September working parents of 3 to 4 year olds will be entitled to 30 hours free childcare a week during term time. That's a doubling of the current hours for those eligible. But a recent survey by the Pre-School Learning Alliance found that only 44% of providers were actually planning on offering the 30 hours free and a quarter of providers saying it is likely the new funding will mean they will close as parents go elsewhere for free hours.

This manager of an Ofsted outstanding nursery in Leamington Spa said the government funding was simply not enough to the cover costs needed to provide quality childcare.

The Pre-School Learning Alliance - an educational organisation - say that childcare providers are already going out of business and the 30 hour offer will make it harder for them.

But the government insist the funding has been carefully costed and it will be a real help for working parents.

Who qualifies for the 30 free hours?

Working parents of 3 and 4 year olds. Both parents have to earn a minimum of the equivalent of 16 hours a week on the minimum wage - currently £120 a week for over 25 year olds. But less than £100,000 a year each. Single parents who qualify will also get the funding and so will those on parental leave or statutory sick pay.

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