The minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing has visited High Wycombe following the Government’s announcement to invest roughly £8bn to improve childcare in the UK.

David Johnston, who is the MP of Wantage in Oxfordshire, was present at Jass4Fun in town, where he spoke about the current Conservative

He told the Free Press: “This was to mark Childminder Week 2024, and follows the recently launched applications for parents of children from nine months old to apply for their government-funded childcare from September.

“It was great meeting the children who were having a fun time and this is all related to this Government providing the biggest investment that has ever been in childcare.

“We’re doubling the amount that we’re currently spending.

“This is so that working families can 30 hours of childcare a week from the age of nine months until they start school.

“We currently spend about £4b a year in childcare, but by the time we finish our expansion, it will be around £8b.

“It’s being done in stages so on April 1, parents were able to get their first 15 hours for their two-year-olds.

“We’ve not got 210,000 parents accessing that which we’re pleased with.”

The investment is the largest ever given by the Government in history to help with childcare, with the initiative expecting to help save parents roughly nearly £7,000 a year.

The application process is currently active for people to use.

MP Johnston added: “On Sunday just gone [May 12], we entered the second stage which allows parents to get the first 15 hours for children a month and older.

“They can apply for that between now and August 31.

“When we’re finished, parents can get the first 30 hours by next September and by then, your average family will be saving £6,900 on their childcare costs which is a huge saving.

“The cost of childcare is one of the biggest costs that working families are facing at the moment.

“During Covid, this government provided furlough and business loans to help protect people’s jobs and livelihoods.

“Then when energy prices went really high, we played for half of people’s energy bills, and now, it’s childcare which is why we’re putting so much money into it.

“It’s estimated that as a result of this investment, 60,000 people will re-enter the workforce and around 1.5m people will be to increase the amount of hours they do at work because they have childcare being provided by the government.”

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