The Childcare Bill has now received Royal Assent (Childcare Act 2016) and the Department for Education has launched a consultation on proposals for how the commitment to double free childcare for working parents of 3- and 4-year olds will be delivered. This seeks views on a range of issues including: ensuring the operation of a ‘grace period’ for parents; how places might be delivered more flexibly; provision for children with special education needs and disabilities; the role and responsibilities of local authorities in securing places; and information about childcare for parents.
To support local authority’s planning as they prepare to deliver the additional childcare from September 2017, draft indicative regulations and draft statutory guidance are published alongside the consultation document.
The closing date for the consultation is 6 June. The consultation, and response form, can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/30-hour-free-childcare-entitlement.