MP visits nursery ahead of new childcare funding scheme

Conservative MP for Kingswood, Chris Skidmore, at Mama Bear's Nursery

Conservative MP for Kingswood, Chris Skidmore, at Mama Bear’s Nursery

MP Chris Skidmore paid a visit to a Hanham day nursery in Bristol to meet with parents and staff ahead of the introduction of the new Extended Free Entitlement funding scheme in September.

The Conservative MP for Kingswood stopped by at the Mama Bear’s Day Nursery & Pre-School at Hanham Hall where he heard first-hand how the extended free childcare would benefit working parents.

A Conservative government initiative, the 30-hours Free Entitlement funding scheme sees the current provision of 15 hours doubled for children aged three and four years old.

Parents with a combined average income of £240 or more per week and who each earn under £100,000 are eligible if their child is three by 31st August 2017. The Department for Education estimates 390,000 parents will meet the criteria for funding.

Skidmore said: “I was extremely supportive of the Government’s original policy to introduce 15 hours of free childcare and, having delivered that, I welcome the further 15 hours now available to parents. As a father of two young children myself, I know how important these 30 hours are for hard-working parents. Crucially, this offer will be worth around £5,000 per child.

“The Government has also introduced the new Tax-Free Childcare top-up where working parents of children, who will be aged under 4 on 31 August 2017, can now apply through the new digital childcare service for Tax-Free Childcare and receive a government top-up of £2 for every £8 that they pay into their Tax-Free Childcare account. This will cut childcare costs by up to £2,000 per year for each child under 12 years old, or £4,000 per year for disabled children under 17 years old.”

Mama Bears is one of the nursery groups in Bristol offering the scheme which aims to help parents return to or stay in work.

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