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Childcare announcement will help thousands of local families

March 18, 2014 11:10 AM

Tim Farron MP at Kendal Nursery SchoolWorking families could be paid up to £2,000 per child under a new Government childcare support scheme. The scheme has been championed by South Lakes MP Tim Farron. It is estimated that over 13,000 families in Cumbria will benefit from this policy.

This morning Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced a new childcare package that will help parents with the cost of living and enable children to get the best possible start in life. The tax-free childcare scheme announced by Liberal Democrats last year will be increased from £1200 to £2000 per child, beginning in Autumn 2015. Working parents earning at least £50 per week will receive 20% off the cost of childcare, up to a limit of £10,000 for every child under 12. Parents who work part time will also be eligible for support with childcare costs.

Britain has some of the most expensive childcare costs in the world - with fees rising at more than twice the rate of inflation, according to the Daycare Trust. Supporting young people has been a major campaign of Tim's. Over the last two years Tim helped secure 5600 free early years education places for the poorest Cumbrian children and extra funding for catch up classes for 10 and 11 year olds.

In our area the number of families eligible for Tax Free Childcare is estimated to be:

Cumbria

13,140

Allerdale

2,560

Barrow-in-Furness

1,970

Carlisle

2,990

Copeland

1,930

Eden

1,300

South Lakeland

2,400

Tim said: "As a dad I know how hard it can be to juggle work and family life. I have consistently called on senior government ministers to do more to make childcare affordable and available to everyone. Parents I speak to across our area have told me that this was a major issue for them. That's why we lobbied hard for this new scheme - today's announcement is a testament to parents of South Cumbria who raised the issue with me.

"Every parent who wants to work should be able to - without seeing every penny of their wages disappear in childcare bills. Add in the cost of travel to work and mums can find themselves effectively working full time for just a couple of pounds a week. It's absurd and I've called for the government to do more to help them. This announcement today will make a big difference to thousands of people and is very welcome news."