Free childcare for more than 1,000 children in Sheffield

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More than 1,000 families in some of Sheffield’s poorest households are taking advantage of a new government scheme to provide free childcare.

Since September 1,158 parents and carers of two-year-olds in the poorest 20 per cent of households have taken up the offer for 15 hours’ free education a week, according to the Liberal Democrat party.

The policy was championed by Sheffield Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrat MPs.

Local councillors have welcomed the high uptake in Sheffield.

Coun Colin Ross, Liberal Democrat spokesman for early years, said: “Free childcare targeted at the most disadvantaged two-year-olds ensures all children get a fair start in life.

“This measure provides a helping hand to parents struggling with the costs of childcare and supports mothers back into work. I’m delighted that in just a few months more than a thousand children across Sheffield have already benefited from this action.”

Free childcare will be extended to the poorest 40 per cent of two-year-olds in the city in September next year.