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New childcare scheme for workless parents

Unemployed parents to benefit from new government childcare and learning scheme.
The government has launched a new scheme offering free childcare and support to parents who are keen to return to the workplace.

In a bid to reach families from disadvantaged backgrounds, the initiative aims to help parents find work without the financial burden of childcare.

Eligible parents, who are unemployed and interested in training for work, will receive free childcare spaces while they acquire new skills and qualifications for employment.

Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said: "We know that for those who can, work remains the best way to lift families and children out of poverty.

"High quality childcare not only supports parents back into employment but it promotes and improves positive outcomes for children, helping to ensure that all children … can reach their full potential."

Families with one partner in work, an annual household income of £20,000 or less, a child or children aged 14 or under or 18 for children with disabilities are eligible for the learning support.

According to the national childcare charity Daycare Trust, the average cost of full-time nursery place for a child under the age of two is £167 a week in England - the equivalent of £8,500 a year.

This figure is an increase of five per cent compared to last year.

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