Extra money for childcare

Extra money towards the costs of childcare will be available for the first time for parents who work 16 hours a week or less, the government announced today.

The coalition revealed it will invest £300 million in the new plans, which are set to benefit some 80,000 families on universal credit who previously did not qualify for financial help.

The proposals come after months of intensive lobbying from children's charities who put pressure on the government after funding was reduced for childcare in the welfare reforms announced last April.

The move also comes as the latest polling data reveals the coalition is losing support from low-earning working women, a key demographic responsible for bringing Mr Cameron to power.

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