Report slams distribution of government’s £9bn childcare spending

The Guardian comments that a report finds that just £250m of the fund will go to the UK’s most disadvantaged families, with most of the money going to wealthier homes.

Children from families most in need will receive a startlingly low proportion of government spending on early years education and childcare, a report warns.

The report, which was published on Thursday by Labour MP Lucy Powell and the Social Market Foundation (SMF), found that a mere £250m worth of the extra £9bn of spending over the next five years will reach the most disadvantaged UK families.

It also found that the government’s new childcare spending will largely be enjoyed by the wealthiest parts of the population. The SMF figures showed that around 75% of the spending will go to families in the top half of the population by income.

The report in particular criticises the government’s 30-hour-a-week offer for free childcare for infants aged three and four years, which is to begin operating nationally next month.

The research looked at the total new spending on early years education and childcare projected for 2017-2022, and found that government policies skewed distribution towards “a collection of retail, political offers to parents”.

The bulk of the additional £9bn comes in the form of tax-free childcare for three- and four-year-olds. The majority of extra funding appears to be going to higher income parents, with children from the most deprived backgrounds more likely to miss out.

Read more Report slams distribution of government’s £9bn childcare spending

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