This week the proposed scheme that will allow nurseries to stay open seven days a week, right from 6am until 8pm, will be judged to predict the impact it will have on those children spending 10 hours a day in childcare.

Childcare settings will be asked to bid for money that will allow them to provide free services to all three and four-year-olds for 30 hours a week – double the current free hours provided.

The scheme is a bid to boost employment and help mothers return to work with 600,000 families predicted to benefit.

Education and Childcare minister, Sam Gyimah told the Sunday Times that: “hard-working parents have all sorts of shift patterns, so childcare needs to be more flexible and affordable.”

However, sleep expert, Paul Kelley has raised concerns stating: “I strongly urge the government to explore the impact of such early wake times on children’s health and wellbeing before proceeding.”

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