This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government

Petition Give parents who work full time,free childcare

People who work full time should not be penalised by having to pay for childcare so they can return to work, while people who don't work and have no need for childcare get it for free.

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

48,775 signatures

Show on a map


Government responded

This response was given on 29 September 2016

From September 2017 working parents of 3- and 4-year-olds will be eligible to a total of 30 hours free early education a week.

Read the response in full

This is part of a whole package of support to help parents with childcare costs.

Currently all 3- and 4- year olds can get 15 hours of free early education a week, worth around £2,500 per child per year. And from September 2017 we are introducing an additional 15 hours of free childcare a week for the working parents of three- and four-year olds, saving parents using the full 30 hours around a total of £5000 a year per child.

We know there are still too many people for whom there are unfair barriers to work, and whose high levels of skill are too often underused. This Government has set out stretching ambitions to increase employment, and doubling the free entitlement to childcare to 30 hours a week for working parents of three- and four-year-olds is a significant contribution to this.

Some two-year-olds from the lowest-income families can also access 15 hours of free early education each week, because children from low income families can start school behind their better off peers. The two-year-old entitlement is in place to help close the attainment gap between the most disadvantaged and their better off peers.

The free childcare entitlements are one part of an overall government package of schemes designed to support parents with childcare costs. From 2017 we will introduce Tax-Free Childcare, which will save around 2 million families up to £2,000 per child on their annual childcare bill for children aged under 12 (or 17 for children with special educational needs or disabilities). In addition, the childcare element of Universal Credit provides direct support for childcare costs, with support for up to 85% of eligible costs as of April 2016, with the maximum limits of £646.35 for one child and £1108.04 for two or more children.

Department for Education

Other parliamentary business

MPs want to hear your views on childcare

On Monday 21 November at 4.30pm, MPs will debate e-petition 132140 on free childcare for working parents. The debate will be led by Helen Jones MP, Chair of the Petitions Committee.

View petition 132140:

Get involved:

The Petitions Committee invite you to inform the debate by joining the conversation on the House of Commons Facebook page from Friday 11 to Tuesday 15 November:

Share your thoughts and experiences on the following questions:

• How easy have you found it to find suitable childcare? 

• What are your thoughts on the cost of childcare?  Is the Government giving parents the right support with childcare costs?
• Are there problems with the availability of qualified childcare staff?

On Tuesday 15 November from 4 to 5pm, Helen Jones MP will be joining the discussion live and responding to your comments.

Join the conversation on the House of Commons Facebook page:

Your comments will be shared with MPs taking part in the debate.

You can find out more information on the Parliament website:

This online discussion is organised by Parliament's Digital Outreach Team which works to involve the public in the work of the UK Parliament.
Find out more about how you can get involved with Parliament: