Free childcare access expanded across UK as minister visits Jaguar Land Rover

Parents and carers across the UK can now apply for more free childcare today. Applications for the next round of free expanded childcare opens today (May 12).

It starts in September and will include 15 hours free childcare for nine month to two-year-olds for the first time. The Minister for Employment, Jo Churchill, visited the Bright Horizons nursery at Jaguar Land Rover in Gaydon to raise awareness about the expansion of free childcare.

She saw first-hand how childcare providers and parents are benefiting from the changes. She also toured the plant’s occupational health function, to see the support being offered to staff.

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"The parents I met at Jaguar Land Rover’s nursery this week run by Bright Horizons group, represent Britain at its best," she said. "Dynamic, hardworking, innovative with a willingness to get on and get ahead.

"Many parents are back in the workplace thanks to the childcare support this government is delivering for mums and dads across the country, like those I spoke to who are designing the next generation of cars and looking after little ones.

"Excitingly, today marks the next step in our biggest childcare expansion in history, with parents of children from 9 months old now able to apply for 15 hours of funded childcare a week, starting in September.

"We have also, made it even easier for parents on Universal Credit to get back into work, by boosting the amount of support on offer with up to £1000 a month for one child and £1700 for two or more children."

What is the free childcare expansion and who can apply?

Parents of children from 9 months old can, from today (May 12) apply to access government-funded childcare from September of this year. Eligible working parents of children who will be nine months old by August 31 can apply to access 15 hours of funded childcare a week.

It is the second step in the government’s long-term plan to support parents to balance their family and career.

Parents are being urged to check eligibility at

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