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    Politics

    Free childcare support will help boost the economy, says Rishi Sunak

    From September, the offer will be extended to working parents of children over nine months old. Photo: Rawpixel/iStockphoto

    Rishi Sunak has promised his revolution in childcare will help boost the economy and build a “brighter future” for families.

    The expansion of the government-funded free support scheme began on Monday, with workers Parents of two-year-old children received the right to support. request before 3 p.m.

    From September the offer will be extended to working parents of children over nine months old, with full rollout planned for September 2025, when working parents will be able to access 30 hours covering the end of maternity leave for their child to start school.

    Mr Sunak said: “We want to give working families the confidence that they will be supported and our full extension will save parents £6,900 a year, helping to build a brighter future for families and boost our economy.” .

    Expanding childcare services is one of many economic measures as Rishi Sunak seeks to revive his political fortunes. Photo: Darren Staples/PA

    Gillian Keegan, the education secretary, welcomed the “landmark moment” and said she was “extremely proud”. to see more than 150,000 children set to take up government-funded places as part of the expansion.

    “Supporting childcare costs has a huge ripple effect, allowing parents to work more hours and putting more money in their pockets or giving gives them the confidence to try a new career or passion,” Ms Keegan said.

    “It also boosts economic growth and opens up new career opportunities in a hugely lucrative sector.”Critics of the policy warn there are not enough childcare staff available for the policy to succeed, while an Ipsos poll found two-thirds of parents were unaware two-year-olds would be eligible for 15 hours of free time.

    Rachel Carrell, founder of Koru Kids, a childcare agency once backed by Mr Sunak's wife Akshata Murthy, said the scheme was “already a car crash” because the infrastructure had not been put in place to make it work.

    Expanding childcare is one of many economic measures Downing Street hopes will put money back into voters' pockets as the Prime Minister seeks to revive his political fortunes just months before the general election.

    This comes ahead of a further two per cent cut to staff national insurance that Jeremy Hunt introduced in the spring Budget, with the National Living Wage increasing from £10.42 to £11.44 as of Monday.

    Sir.

    Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, warned on Sunday that there was “real anger” in the public towards the government and Mr Sunak had just “a few months to make sure people became better.”

    Opinion polls show the Conservatives trail Labor by about 20 points, and a recent forecast that they could be left with fewer than 100 seats after the general election raises new questions about Mr Sunak's leadership.

    However, he continued to insist his plan was “starting to work” and went so far as to call 2024 “the year Britain bounces back”.

    Despite discontent among Tory supporters and speculation plots to install a new leader sooner Since the election, only two MPs have publicly called for Mr Sunak's resignation.

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