From September 2010 all eligible children will be entitled to 15 hours a week of free provision over no fewer than 38 weeks of the year offered on a more flexible basis to better meet families' needs.
We are not extending the free entitlement to 48 weeks of the year. However, in “Next Steps for Early Learning and Childcare” (January 2009) we committed to ensuring that parents will have the choice to stretch the free entitlement over more than 38 weeks, enabling them to take fewer hours per week over more weeks of the year. This will support parents to cover holidays, keep costs constant and help them to budget more consistently. Over 48 weeks, a stretched entitlement would equate to just under 12 hours a week.