Everything you need to know about free childcare scheme set to be rolled out in April

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The scheme will offer 15 hours of free childcare to children aged two.

Free childcare hours are set to be rolled out in April, to working parents with children aged two-years-old. 

The new free childcare scheme, which is said to cost £4 billion is due to be introduced in April, however reports have suggested that plans are at risk due to IT problems and delays.

Here is all the information about the new childcare scheme.

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What were the initial plans? 

The plans to roll-out more free childcare for working parents was first announced in the 2023 Spring Budget. 

The plans are to roll-out 15 hours of free childcare to parents of two-year-olds.

Parents of children from the age of nine months are also set to be included in the scheme later in the year.

When are they due to come into force? 

The new childcare scheme is due to come into force from April this year, and by September the scheme will be expanded to include children of a younger age.

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The expansion of the free childcare scheme should be fully rolled out by September 2025.

Children aged two will recieve 15 hours of free childcare.Children aged two will recieve 15 hours of free childcare.
Children aged two will recieve 15 hours of free childcare. | candy1812 - stock.adobe.com

What does the delay mean? 

It has been reported that major issues are causing a delay to the free childcare roll-out. 

The issues are related to the likes of technical glitches and accounting errors, however Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has assured parents that the issues are currently in the process of being resolved.

What has the government said?

The government has insisted that despite facing challenges in the roll-out of the free childcare scheme, no families will miss out.

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