Election 2017

General election 2017: The parties' proposals on childcare

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Political parties are attempting to attract the votes of working parents with pre-school children. What are their manifesto pledges on childcare?

What is currently on offer

All three and four-year-olds in England are entitled to 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year, which works out as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks of the year. The coalition government expanded this to the most deprived two year olds.

From September, three and four-year-olds in England will be entitled to 30 free hours of care per week in term time. Parents need to meet certain criteria in order to receive this, including earning over a minimum amount.

The government has also introduced a new scheme for tax-free childcare, aimed at working parents earning less than £100,000 a year each.

And parents can claim back up to 85% of childcare costs if they are eligible for universal credit.

In Scotland, three and four-year-old children are eligible for 600 hours of free early learning and childcare per year - about 16 hours every week during term time.

In Wales, all three and four-year-olds are entitled to a minimum of 10 hours of free foundation phase early education. The Welsh government is running a pilot scheme that is offering 30 hours a week for 48 weeks a year.

In Northern Ireland, under the pre-school education programme, there is an allocation of funded places for children in the year before they start school.

The parties' proposals