30 Hours Free Childcare

30 Hours Free Childcare Team

Department for Education |

The 2015 manifesto committed to giving 30 hours of free childcare a week to working parents of three and four year olds. The aim was to deliver the economic prize of greater parental employment, and reduce the cost of childcare.

The team needed 50,000 childcare providers to offer 30 hours, but surveys suggested that 40% might not do so because they considered our funding rate too low. They worked seamlessly with local authorities, the delivery partners, to ensure 30 hours were delivered.

This is an example of two major complex government programmes – 30 hours and HMRC’s Tax-Free Childcare – managing critical operational dependencies and joined-up service
delivery to provide positive user outcomes. Exceptionally strong programme management and joint working were key to our success. Within just over two years, the offer launched nationally, on time and within budget. More than 340,000 children benefited from a place in the first year, taking pressure off family finances and supporting a quarter of mothers to increase their working hours.