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The Somerset Guardian, 13th December 2023

Last week, the Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing wrote to Members of Parliament regarding the delivery of extra help for those with small children. As this is a topic that many of my constituents have raised with me, I thought it prudent to set out a few of the improvements that will be made.

Over the last year I have been contacted by constituents about accessing early years placements. Parents will hopefully have been reassured by the Government announcement about for 2024-25 which set out the amount of money per hour per child that a Local Authority will receive from central government for the new entitlements, of which at least 95% is to be passed through to providers. Details can be found here.

From 1st April 2024 eligible working parents in England will be able to access 15 hours of free childcare per week from the term after they turn two. From 1st September 2024, 15 hours will also be available to children of eligible working parents from the term after they reach nine months old. And from 1st September 2025 eligible working parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week, over 38 weeks of the year, from the term after their child turns nine months old until they start school.

To clarify, eligibility requires a parent to be a British Citizen, live in England and be in work earning between £8,600 up to £100k (or where their partner is in work and they themselves are in receipt of Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Limited Capability for Work Benefit or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance).

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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