Thousands of parents may not get free childcare for young children after all : Express

Tens of thousands of young children attending nurseries could miss out on 30 free hours a week of childcare, industry leaders have said.

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More than a fifth of nurseries (22 per cent) say they will not be, or are unlikely to take part in the Government scheme, which will see free childcare hours for three and four-year-olds in England double later this year, according to a new survey by the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA).

It calculates that this means that around 51,000 eligible children will not be able to access a nursery place for the full 30 free hours.

This is based on a Government estimate that around 390,000 youngsters will qualify for the offer, and that 60 per cent of childcare places are provided by private, voluntary and independent nurseries. Other places are offered by providers such as playschemes.

The NDNA’s latest survey found that 44 per cent of the daycare providers questioned said that they will offer families the free 30 hours, while around 35 per cent are unsure.

Under the Government’s plans, from this autumn, all three and four-year-olds in England will be entitled to 30 free hours of childcare a week, up from the current 15 hours.

But industry leaders have raised concerns that nurseries and childminders will not get enough public funding to cover the costs of providing these places.



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