MP Soames welcomes free childcare offer figures

MP Sir Nicholas Soames
MP Sir Nicholas Soames

MP Sir Nicholas Soames has welcomed new figures which show that 4,747 children are benefiting from the Government’s 30 hours free childcare offer across West Sussex.

The offer saves working families around £5,000 per year per child and saw over 200,000 children benefit nationally in its first term, a spokesman said.

Mr Soames told the Middy: “For many parents, being able to afford good-quality childcare is essential to working and supporting their families.

“It’s not just an issue, but the issue, and I know from speaking with families across Mid Sussex and West Sussex what a difference 30 free hours is making. Reliable childcare gives parents peace of mind and makes day to day life that bit easier.

“We want to help people with the cost of living. That’s why this Government is spending more money on childcare than ever before, helping parents to balance their home and working lives whilst ensuring more children get the best possible start in life.”

There are now nearly 300,000 children in 30 hours places in England, a spokesman said. It is backed by a record investment of £6 billion per year in childcare, which includes an extra £1 billion per year by 2020 to deliver the free entitlements.

A spokesman added: “High quality childcare not only helps children get the best start in life, but also supports many parents who want or need to work. Beneficiaries of the scheme have reported improved family finances as well as a better work-life balance.”

The Government’s 30 hours free childcare offer for working parents launched nationally on September 1, 2017. This doubled the former 15 hour entitlement introduced in 2010.