24th September 2018
PARENTS taking advantage of the government’s 30 hours of free childcare provision for three and four-year-olds have found their finances have improved and their children are better prepared to start school. This is according to new research published by the Department for Education one year on from the launch of the 30 hours childcare scheme which surveyed more than 3,000 parents enrolled in the scheme. 86% of parents said their children were better prepared to start school ready to learn and 78% said that taking up the free 30 hours offer for their three and four-year-olds helped them save money that they were able to invest back into their families and improve their overall quality of life.
Welcoming the report Mr Stride said:
“The results of this survey mirror what I hear from families with young children across my constituency – that the introduction of 30 hours of free childcare for three and four-year- olds is having a massive difference on their family life. Parents from lower or middle-income households are seeing the biggest benefits and more parents, particularly mothers, are able to get back to work if they wish to do so.”
Mr Stride also claimed the scheme had assisted with the fall in the number of children growing up in workless households, adding:
“It is not a coincidence that in the same year as the Government introduced this scheme the number of children living in workless households has dropped to the lowest level since records began in 1996. This is important because there is strong evidence of a link between children growing up and seeing their parents putting in a hard day’s work with their attitudes towards education and work in the future.”
Notes to Editors
Over 3,000 parents were surveyed about their experiences of using the government-funded hours, including whether the offer saved them money and improved their children’s development, with families from lower-income backgrounds most likely to say that the hours had made their children more ‘school ready’.
Other findings from the research published today showed that the 30 hours offer:
- Improves finances: 69% of parents using the 30 hours offer said their weeklychildcare bills have fallen, while 84% said the 30 hours is making a difference to their
- Helps increase working hours: 71% of parents said 30 hours helps them balancework with their childcare needs (46% of whom said it was made a ‘great deal’ of difference), and more than two in five parents (42%) said it gave them more flexibility over their working hours.
- Supports lower-income families: Parents from lower or middle income households were more likely to say that 30 hours makes a ‘great deal’ of difference to their ability to balance family life with work.
- Can be tailored to a family’s needs: 71% of parents using the offer found it flexible to use, fitting it around their lifestyles
- Improves access to childcare: It also showed that 83% of three and four year olds are now able to take advantage of some form of free childcare offer from the government. In June, the Department for Education published census data, which showed 94% of children were benefiting from funded early education from the Government.For more information please contact Chris Yeo via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more from Mel visit www.melstridemp.com or follow him on twitter @MelJStride