The government is very aware of the challenges faced by families, including working mothers, due to childcare costs. That is why we will be spending around £6 billion on childcare support in 2019-20. This is more than any previous government. This includes around £3.5 billion which we plan to spend this year on all the free early education entitlements.
All 3 and 4 year olds, and the most disadvantaged two-year-olds, are able to access 15 hours a week of free early education and, from September last year, we doubled the childcare entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours a week. In the first year of delivery, over 340,000 children benefited from a 30 hours place.
Eligibility for the 30 hours entitlement is based on parental income. This means that parents using the full 30 hours entitlement could save, on average, up to £5,000 per year. Our recent evaluation of the first year of national roll-out of 30 hours of free childcare indicated that over one quarter of mothers surveyed said they had increased their hours and 15% stated that they would not be working without the extended hours.