Department for Education
30 hours childcare offer helping balance work and family lives
New survey, marking the first anniversary of the 30 hours childcare offer, shows almost 70 per cent of parents are spending less money per week on childcare.
Thousands of parents taking advantage of the government’s 30 hours free childcare offer have been able to take on more hours of work, new research published by the Department for Education yesterday (11 September) shows.
The research, published one year on from the launch of the 30 hours childcare scheme, show that working parents and their children are reaping the benefits of better access to formal early education.
It shows that the vast majority of parents (86%) said their children were better prepared to start school ready to learn, due to spending time in government-funded childcare places.
The survey also showed that more than three-quarters (78%) of parents taking up the free 30 hours offer for their three and four-year-olds, reported having saved money, which they were able to invest back into their families and improve their overall quality of life.
Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi yesterday said:
Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life and that’s why it’s great to see that the research published today confirms the story I hear so often from parents during my visits up and down the country.
More parents are increasing their working hours, able to work more flexibly, and spending less on childcare so they have spare cash to spend on their families.
Working families of every kind are reaping the benefits, including single mums and parents from lower-income backgrounds, who all told us their children’s development had come on leaps and bounds by spending time in free childcare.
In its first year, more than 340,000 three and four-year-olds have benefited from a 30 hours place. Providers have stepped up to the plate to deliver the offer which is having a significant positive impact on families’ lives.
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 yesterday showed that the 30 hours offer:
- Improves finances: 69% of parents using the 30 hours offer said their weekly childcare bills have fallen, while 84% said the 30 hours is making a difference to their family finances.
- Helps increase working hours: 71% of parents said 30 hours helps them balance work 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.
The research also looked at the experiences of childcare providers delivering the 30 hours offer, with over 75%reporting they were offering the entitlement, and the majority (74%) saying that they had not been forced to impose extra charges on parents.
The survey results follow recent data from the Office for National Statistics which showed the number of children living in workless households has dropped to 14.3% in the last year. There are now over 637,000 fewer children living in workless households than there were in 2010 and nearly one million fewer workless households overall. The employment figures showed the number of working households continues to rise and real wages are rising.
This builds on the announcement at the weekend (Saturday 8 September) from the Education Secretary Damian Hinds on a £30million fund to create more high quality school based nurseries in some of the most deprived areas of the country. The Department for Education also published research which showed a boost in the early social and emotional skills of two to four year olds that attend formal childcare, including nurseries, pre-schools and childminders. These are some of the essential skills children need in order to arrive at school in order to thrive, and demonstrates the benefits of early years education on children’s early development.
The Education Secretary also announced additional support for parents to access the government’s free childcare offers through an extension of the Childcare Works scheme, which works with councils to improve uptake of the free childcare available, especially by encouraging disadvantaged families to access the 15 hours free for two-year-olds.
The extension of this local engagement scheme comes as research shows in local areas where there is lowest uptake of the childcare offers there is a lack of awareness of what support is available.
Finding childcare, running a childcare business, financial support, data collection, local authority obligations.
Schools and academies, further and higher education, apprenticeships and other skills training, student funding, early years.
Latest News from
Department for Education
FE providers benefit from scheme to boost teaching workforce15/10/2018 11:20:00
Eighty new expert teachers to be recruited from industry into further education through the £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme.
Education Secretary launches £24 million programme for North East08/10/2018 16:47:00
Damian Hinds challenges employers and universities to seek out all the talent in the North East of England.
Children and Families Minister's NAHT early years speech08/10/2018 13:10:00
Nadhim Zahawi recently (05 October 2018) spoke to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) about closing the attainment gap in the early years.
New education and skills measures announced03/10/2018 15:10:00
Education Secretary Damian Hinds yesterday announced a number of measures to make sure all children have access to a world class education.
New civil service economics apprenticeship offers young people job route into government29/09/2018 09:12:00
Young people from all walks of life who want to be economists could get a salaried government apprenticeship while studying for their degree, with the launch of a new career opportunity.
More children on track to be fluent readers in primary school28/09/2018 09:32:00
Official figures show 163,000 more six-year-olds are on track to become fluent readers than in 2012 thanks to our focus on phonics
James Brokenshire removes commissioners from Rotherham council after 3-year intervention19/09/2018 12:12:00
Communities Secretary confirms he is concluding the government’s intervention in Rotherham metropolitan borough council and returning all powers to the authority.
UK aid to connect UK schools with classrooms around the world17/09/2018 11:22:00
Film director Richard Curtis joins International Development Secretary, Education Secretary and the British Council to launch new education programme.