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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Free child care could be extended to foster families

Written by Dan O'Donoghue

A free child care policy may be extended to include foster families, Education Secretary Justine Greening has revealed.

Under the current policy three and four-year-olds in families where all parents work are entitled to 30 hours free care, but children in foster care are not included.

At education questions Ms Greening (pictured) said the Government was "looking at" extending the offer, in answer to a question from shadow education minister Tracy Brabin.

Ms Brabin said: "Last week the early years minister used 30 hours of child care funding as an example of Government's commitment to social mobility.

"He knows foster children are some of the most vulnerable, often starting school having already fallen behind their peers, and many would benefit from access to high-quality early years.

"Therefore why have foster children been excluded from the 30 hours offer? Can the minister confirm today when this discrimination will end?"

Ms Greening said: "I am pleased that she implicitly recognises that the 30 hours policy is a good thing and ideally would be extended to more children, and as I've just said we will be looking at that."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Ben Birchall / PA Wire.