Government to announce £300m for childcare

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The Independent Online

A £300m expansion of childcare – the biggest ever – will be unveiled this week by the Secretary of State for Education, Estelle Morris.

Ms Morris, visiting an ultra-modern childcare centre in London on Tuesday, will announce a major package designed to improve provision of care for working families with children.

There will be 45,000 new childcare places in 900 neighbourhood nurseries up and down the country backed by investment to build or improve buildings. And money from the European Social Fund will be put into extra training for childcare workers.

The move is part of the Government's strategy to put children at the heart of its plans in the second term.

The extra money for families with children will form the focus of the Budgets and spending reviews of father-to-be Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer. There will also be help for parents who want to work, with Labour's so-called "work-life balance programme".