Released on: 15 March 2023

Responding to the Spring Budget 2023, Angela McConville, Chief Executive at NCT, said:  

“Today’s budget has gone some way in uplifting support for parents, with additional investment in childcare and the postponed rise in energy price guarantee.  

“Parents may want to breathe a sigh of relief with news of additional childcare support, but headlines can be misleading. The changes implemented won’t begin until next year and won’t extend to all 9-month-olds until 2025.  

“There’s little point in making childcare free if there are limited childcare settings for families to access. This reform will inevitably lead to rising demand in provision and many childcare settings are already oversubscribed.  

“That’s why the expansion of free childcare must go together with investment in high quality childcare provision. Government must support providers to increase staff and expand their facilities, alongside additional funding for training and resources. 

“Families are struggling today – with low-income families in particularly urgent need of support. We therefore welcome news that parents on universal credit will see an increase in funding and no longer need to pay childcare costs up front.   

“Government must give parents better childcare choices and support to enable them to return to work if, and when, they choose to. Without sustained focus, the cost-of-living crisis will impact a generation of babies and families.” 

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