Will childcare review cut costs for parents?Schools hours may be extended to 8pm

19 June 2012

Childcare costs | Extedned school hours

School hours could be extended to 8pm as a way to cut parents' childcare costs

In a bid to help parents cut childcare costs, the government is considering extending school hours and increasing the number of children childminders are allowed to look after. 

The government is launching a review of childcare, which will look at removing red tape so childcare improvements can be made without unnecessary restrictions. 

Possible childcare plans

Some schools already offer longer hours and after school and holiday childcare, such as clubs. But the government will look at how this initiative, known as 'wrap-around care' can be made commercially viable and rolled out nationally.

Currently a childminder is restricted to looking after three children, but this may be increased to five. Plus, there are possible plans to make registering as a childminder a less bureaucratic process, in an attempt to increase the number of childminders, which has decreased in recent years.

Which? members can find recommended childcare providers in their area by visiting Which? Local. Here you can also add your own recommendations to help other parents. Not a Which? member? Unlock access to all our member services by taking out an £1 trial subscription to Which?.

Cut childcare costs now

Which? deputy home editor Hazel Cottrell says: 'This government review could bring about positive changes, but any findings and actions won't be felt for a while. In the meantime, make sure you are getting all the childcare help you are entitled to such as child tax credits and childcare vouchers.'

For more information on how childcare vouchers and child tax credits work, see our advice guides.

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