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Working to parents benefit from more free extra childcare

Working parents in Wigan will get extra childcare from September Credit: PA

Working parents in Wigan will receive double the current amount of free childcare for three- and four-year-olds this September. Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah has announced £13 million for certain councils to deliver 30 hours of free childcare for working parents of three- and four-year-olds – a year ahead of schedule.

The extra hours of childcare will make it easier for these parents to work and is part of the Government’s commitment to 'make work pay.'

The government will also be looking at the issues that make it difficult for parents with particular challenges to access childcare, including Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

It is expected to be fully rolled out in 2017, with the aim of removing barriers to parents taking up their entitlement.

Education Minister Nicky Morgan Credit: PA

For too long, rising childcare costs have been a barrier preventing parents and particularly mothers from working. That’s why I’m delighted that in just a few months’ time, we will see the first families benefitting from the government’s offer of 30 hours’ free childcare for working parents.

We have made a commitment to help working people, and through this extended offer we will help thousands more parents who want to return to work to do so.”

– Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan
Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah with PM Credit: PA

“I know how important childcare is from my own personal experience, and I couldn’t be more determined to make sure we give children the best start in life, support parents to work, and as a result, allow our country to prosper.

“I’m pleased that we are investing in childcare, and I’m looking forward to seeing how working parents benefit from 30 hours free childcare, before we roll the offer out to the rest of the country.”

– Childcare Minister, Sam Gyimah

All three- and four-year-olds are already entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week, and this is also extended to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds. Last year, more than 1 million three- and four-year-olds, and 157,000 two-year-olds benefited from this offer.

Watch: what it means for young people to be in care

Around twelve thousand young people are growing up in care in our region, often because of difficult family backgrounds.

Now a couple of cared-for youngsters from Lancashire, have enlisted the help of Fixers - the campaign that gives young people a voice - to put their side of the story: because they're fed up with being treated differently.

You can find out more about Fixers great work by visiting their website.


Hillsborough: Sergeant denies ordering exit gate open

Credit: PA

A police sergeant has denied giving an instruction to open an exit gate, allowing thousands of Liverpool fans into Hillsborough.

John Morgan, who was in the vicinity of gate C seconds before it was opened, said he did ask officers nearby about opening the gate to allow through a small number of spectators who had been rescued from the crush outside the turnstiles.

The inquests have previously heard that Superintendent Roger Marshall decided the exit gates should be opened to alleviate a crush at the turnstiles and radioed the control room asking for permission.

The jury heard today that officers from Operation Resolve are investigating speech on a tape which appears to have recorded the order "Open the gates at Leppings Lane" at about 2.51 or 2.52pm.

Lawyers representing some of the bereaved families suggested it would have been about 90 seconds before the opening and Mr Morgan agreed it would fit with the order coming from the control box.