Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, was delighted to welcome Children's Minister Claire Coutinho to Milton Keynes on Friday (24th March) to visit a children's centre and nursey following the Government's announcement of a childcare revolution.
At this month’s Budget, the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced 30 hours of free childcare for every child over the age of 9 months, with support being phased in until every single eligible working parent of under 5s gets this support by September 2025.
The Government will also pay the childcare costs of parents on Universal Credit moving into work or increasing their hours upfront, rather than in arrears – removing a major barrier to work for those who are on benefits. The maximum they can claim will also be boosted to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two children – an increase of around 50%. The funding paid to nurseries for the existing free hours offers will also be increased by £204 million from this September rising to £288 million next year.
And to discuss the announcement, the importance of early years learning and concerns in the sector, the Children's Minister Claire Coutinho visited Pebbles Children's Centre in Fishermead and Acorn Day Nursery and Outdoor Learning Centre in Emberton to meet with parents, children and staff.
The Minister and local MP Ben joined the Baby Explorers session at Pebbles, a relaxed, nurturing sensory baby session for non-walkers, before heading to Emberton to see the outdoor space for activities such as a firepit and pond, and much more on offer.
Ben Everitt MP said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have been able to welcome the Minister to Milton Keynes to meet with parents, children and staff at both the Fishermead and Emberton nurseries - it was lovely speaking to so many people and seeing just how much they enjoy spending their time at these sessions and nurseries.
"The staff are clearly doing an incredible job making sure children and parents get the most the can out of spending time in early learning settings and I want to specifically mention Kirby and Alex for their amazing energy and attitude towards the job!
"Being a Conservative means appreciating the role and value of families so it's really encouraging to see the Government announcing this boost to childcare to ensure more people can benefit from the fantastic nurseries we have in Milton Keynes like Acorn and Pebbles."
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt said: “Our plan is working – inflation falling, debt down and a growing economy.
“Britain is on a lasting path to growth with a revolution in childcare support, the biggest ever employment package and the best investment incentives in Europe.”