New childcare program: Who gets it? When and to what are your rights?

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The chancellor announced that all children under five would receive 30 hours of free childcare starting Wednesday when maternity care ends.

The chancellor declared that the UK economy was “proving doubters wrong” and Britain would avoid a recession.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves stated that the government is “a bit late for the party” regarding reforms to childcare.

She spoke out about the Budget’s childcare plans and supported them. We would only be in this mess if we had reconstructed the infrastructure Labour’s last government built.

The Resolution Foundation thought tank welcomed the “much-needed assistance for parents,” with the most significant increase in childcare support ever recorded. This was set to encourage more parents and make it worthwhile for others to work longer.

According to the Resolution Foundation, an analysis showed that a parent with a child under one year old earning the National Living Wage and a single income would see their income drop after taking out childcare costs. If they worked 25 to 35 hours a week, this would result in a decrease in revenue. The new system would give the single parent an income boost of up to PS700.

According to the report, the top fifth of households would receive PS180 from the extra childcare entitlement on average, as opposed to PS130 for middle-fifth families and PS20 for the bottom fifth.

However, Hunt was forced to defend the speed at which the scheme was implemented. It will be fully operational in September 2025.

How will this policy be implemented, and who is eligible?

Who is eligible?

All three- and four-year-olds have the right to part-time, free nursery education for 15 hours per week, 38 weeks each year.

If both parents make the national living wage, they are eligible for 30 hours of childcare free of charge. Most working families are eligible, but the most wealthy (those earning more than PS100,000.000) are not.

Parents with children under one and two years old who meet the wage requirements will be eligible for the expanded program. In addition, the expansion will see an increase of funding of PS288m in 2024-25 for the current schedule of free three-year-old childcare.

What time does it begin? Stage 1 – April 2024

Children aged two and over will have 15 hours of childcare free per week starting April 2024. This is the first phase of the policy, which the government has dismantled to ensure enough nursery workers to meet increased demand.

Half a million parents will be eligible for free childcare in the first phase.

Mr. Hunt stated that it was a significant change. We will need thousands of nurseries, thousands of schools offering provisions they don’t offer, and thousands more childminders.

“We are moving as fast as possible to increase the supply on the market.”

Stage 2 – September 2024

The second phase will offer 15 hours of childcare for children as young as nine months old starting in September 2024. This will help nearly one million parents.

Hunt stated that the move was the right thing to make because of our most expensive childcare system in the world.

He said, “We know it is a big worry, especially for women, when maternity leave expires after nine months. No help until the child is three, which can often lead to a career-ending situation.”

“So, it is the right thing for many women to implement these reforms. We are introducing them as fast as possible because we want those barriers to work to be removed.”

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