Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith announces government initiative:
"We are determined to help more parents take their first steps into work, but under the current minimum hours rule parents are trapped in state dependency without the childcare support they badly need - providing yet another barrier to work.
"Under Universal Credit more people will receive support for childcare than they do now. Parents will be able to work the hours to suit their families and receive the childcare support they deserve. We will target support at those making the first steps into work – support won’t just be available for those working more than 16 hours, it will also be there for those working fewer than 16 hours.
"The additional support, combined with State funded free early years education for younger children will enable parents of children of any age to bring together full time paid employment with parenting, and will ensure that those with school age children can meet their job search obligations."