This policy is part of the government’s commitment to offer “thirty hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds for working parents who find it difficult to manage the costs”.
In 2016 local authorities were able to bid for funding to create new childcare places, resulting in £50 million awarded to approved projects in January 2017, which was then doubled to £100 million in April 2017. But that money was allocated prior to the 2017 general election so the current government can’t take credit for it.
Since the election, the government has established a new capital fund to support local authorities, the “30 hours delivery support fund”, which was open for bids between November and December 2017. That money has now been allocated to the successful local authorities.
A Treasury Committee report in March 2018 accused the government of using “misleading” figures in relation to its funding of early years childcare, so there is plenty of debate surrounding this area, but as far as this particular policy pledge is concerned, there is enough evidence to consider it ‘done’.
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