The Chancellor George Osborne announced that funding for the 15-hour free entitlement for all three and four year olds will continue, during his speech on the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review today.
The Chancellor revealed that further support will be given for the early years of our children, with additional attention towards disadvantaged two year olds.
“The increased entitlement to 15 hours a week free education for all three and four year olds introduced under this government will continue.”
“Sure Start services will be protected in cash terms, and the programme will be refocused on its original purpose.”
“And we will help them further by introducing for the first time 15 free hours of early education and care for all disadvantaged two year olds.”
“So these children have a chance in life and are ready, like the rest of their class mates, for school.”
Low-income families will receive less financial support from tax credits to help pay for childcare.
However, although tax credits would be frozen, Mr Osborne said ‘the childcare element of the working tax credit will return to the 70 per cent level.’
[poll id=”3″]“We will change the Working Tax Credit eligibility rules so that couples with children must work 24 hours per week between them.”
“And we will return the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit to its previous 70% level.”
“We want to ensure that low income families with children are protected from the adverse effect from these essential savings.”
“Because this Government is committed to ending child poverty.”
Spending on education will also rise in real terms every year, from £35billion to £39 billion the following year.
Lower-priority programmes like Train to Gain will be abolished.
Adult learners and employers will have to contribute more to further education, with the introduction of the largest ever financial investment in adult apprenticeships.
There’s an increase of over 50% on the previous government, helping 75,000 new apprentices a year by the end of the Spending Review period.
Overall, the Department for Education will be required to find resource savings of only 1% a year.
Is the spending review better/worse than you expected? What implications do you think the change in tax credits will have on the affordability of childcare? Leave your comments below to join the discussion!