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Affordable Childcare

Volume 606: debated on Thursday 25 February 2016

The Government will have invested an extra £1 billion per annum by 2019-20 to help hard-working families with the cost of childcare. We are doubling the amount of free childcare to 30 hours for working parents of three and four-year-olds, and from early 2017 tax-free childcare will benefit about 2 million families by up to £2,000 per child. Many families will also be able to claim 85% of childcare costs through universal credit.

I thank the Minister for that, and especially for the extra £13 million that is being made available to councils such as mine in Staffordshire so that they can roll out the childcare plan sooner. That will help thousands of hard-working families throughout the country. However, will she give particular consideration to what can be done to help families with disabled children and children with special needs?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to say that we are investing more in childcare. Those with disabled children receive £4,000 of tax-free childcare per child. During the last and current Parliaments, we have been rolling out education and healthcare plans for children, including those aged nought to 25 who have more complex needs. We are clear about the fact that our childcare policies must require providers to cater properly for children with disabilities.