Expansion to Funded Childcare
The government is extending childcare to support more parents returning to work after their parental leave ends.
By September 2025, working parents of all children over the age of nine months will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare. So that nurseries and childminders can prepare to deliver such a major expansion, it will be rolled out in phases:
- from April 2024, working parents of 2-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours childcare
- from September 2024, 15 hours childcare will be extended to all children from age of 9 months
- from September 2025, working parents of children under the age of 5 will be entitled to 30 hours childcare per week
Childcare for primary school-age children
Local authorities and schools will be given more funding to set up what's known as 'wraparound care' outside of normal school hours, so that parents of school-age children can access childcare in their local area from 8am to 6pm. This could include breakfast clubs and after-school clubs. We expect that by September 2026, most primary schools will be able to provide their own before and after school care.
Support for people on Universal Credit
Parents on Universal Credit are also set to get further support. Currently, up to 85% of childcare costs can be claimed back. However, by Summer 2023 parents will be able to access the funds upfront to make it easier for them to get a job or increase their hours. This removes any gap in funds and eases parents into the childcare costs payment cycle. The maximum amount of support will also be increased by almost 50%, to £951 for those with one child and to £1,630 for those with two.