Lib Dems promise free childcare extension

05 September 2014

Parents of all three and four year olds have been entitled for some time to 15 hours of state-funded child care a week. This is now being extended on a means-tested basis to the poorest 40 per cent of parents of two year olds. The Liberal Democrats would make it a universal benefit.

Scrapping the married tax allowance would save £495 million in 2015, rising to £775 million by 2018-19. The childcare policy would cost £800 million, the Liberal Democrats said.

This idea was initially proposed by an IPPR report on childcare reform. The IPPR say that “This is a welcome step towards a universal pre-school childcare system, although ensuring the take-up of places will be a challenge, and further investments will be necessary to raise standards, ensure affordability and give parents greater choices over their parental leave and childcare options.”