Blog - What does the 2023 budget mean for parents?
As you will have seen from the 2023 budget, the government is keen to support parents back to work to enable the UK economy to continue growing. By making childcare cheaper and more accessible, the plan is to reduce some of the barriers that may be preventing some parents from going back to work.
As it currently stands, parents who work more than 16 hours per week and earn less than £100,000 per year are entitled to 30 hours of free childcare per week, for children aged three to four. This scheme will be expanded to include all children of working parents over the age of nine months. However, it is important to note that this increased offer will be introduced in stages as follows:
From April 2024, working parents of two year olds will be able to access 15 hours of funding
From September 2024, 15 hours of free childcare will be extended to children from the age of nine months
From September 2025, working parents of children under the age of five will be entitled to 30 hours of free childcare
The government also announced that it would be giving local authorities and schools in England start-up funding to set up wraparound childcare provision in primary schools (either on their own or in partnership with other primary schools), so that they can offer before and after-school provision between 8am and 6pm. It is envisaged that this national roll-out will begin in September 2024.
Families on low incomes in receipt of Universal Credit can currently claim up to 85% of their childcare costs. The government announced that this support would now be paid up-front when they are moving into work or increasing their hours, rather than in arrears to make it easier to afford and help to remove another barrier that may prevent parents returning to work. The Universal Credit childcare cap will increase to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two children.
We know that the cost of childcare is a key consideration when returning to work after starting a family, and as such we endeavour to offer the best value possible. We also know that funding can be a daunting topic for new parents, and so we will do our best to answer any questions you may have, or point you in the direction of additional support if we cannot answer your query.
For more information about St Petroc's Early Years, please visit www.stpetrocs.com, email email@example.com or call 01288 389832.