Supporting Parents into Work

Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons am 2:34 pm ar 13 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Ceidwadwyr, Buckingham 2:34, 13 Tachwedd 2023

What steps his Department is taking to support more parents into work.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

There have been transformational changes in childcare, skills, training and support for future employers, as announced at the spring Budget. It is absolutely the case that from April 2024, eligible working parents of two-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours of free childcare per week from the term after the second birthday, plus there will be the delivery of more support for working parents of children over the age of nine months with 30 free hours of childcare. There is nowhere in the world that compares with our childcare offer on an ongoing basis. We have virtually Scandinavian levels.[This section has been corrected on 16 November 2023, column 8MC — read correction]

Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Ceidwadwyr, Buckingham

I am a huge supporter of the bold action that the Government are taking to tackle the costs of childcare and get more parents into work. However, some settings in my constituency report that the rate the Government pay does not cover the full costs of providing that place, putting them in an untenable position. Can my hon. Friend work with me, alongside the Department for Education, to ensure that the scheme is fully working and that the childcare places are actually there to be able to take up this generous Government support?

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I am happy to convene a summit with the Department for Education, my hon. Friend and his unitary authority to discuss the ways in which we are ensuring that. We are already working in partnership with the DFE to deliver this campaign, and clearly the Government are committed to ensuring that the implementation of the expansion to 30 hours is dealt with in an appropriate and seamless way.