Online childcare platform wins Government funding for digital tool

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Childcare.co.uk has been awarded Government funding to set-up a digital ‘one-stop-shop’ that provides parents with childcare information.

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The online childcare platform was chosen by the Department for Education (DfE) out of hundreds of applicants who responded to childcare minister Sam Gyimah’s challenge to produce a digital tool to help parents find out about different childcare options.

In January, the DfE announced it was making up to £200,000 of funding available for the development of a website or app in reaction to findings from an Ipsos Mori poll that found parents struggle to navigate numerous sources of information online.

Childcare.co.uk will receive more than £96,000 to develop new features on its site, including tools to make it easier for parents to find provision for before and after school, as well as improved search functions to find out which providers are offering the free places for three- and four-year-olds and disadvantaged twos.

The site will also help parents find out about Government childcare offers, such as the 30 free hours, and whether they will be eligible.

Education and childcare minister Sam Gyimah said, ‘Childcare is one of the biggest issues facing parents, which is why we are helping hardworking families and giving more people the opportunity to return to work, if they choose to do so.

‘It is important for families to be able to access as many high-quality and flexible options as possible, so that they can make an informed decision on what will work best for them.

‘I’m excited about working with childcare.co.uk to make this a reality – parents will soon be wondering how they coped without it.’

Richard Conway, chief executive and founder of Childcare.co.uk, said, ‘We are delighted to have been announced as the sole winner of the competition and we are very much looking forward to working with the DfE to enhance our platform further, in order to make it even easier for parents to find the childcare they require.’

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