CONFIRMATION is needed from the government in order to provide clarity for childcare providers regarding their free childcare hours policy, according to an MP.

The plea from Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock followed comments from Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, who first said she was ‘confident’ that the government would deliver its free childcare commitment by April, then refused to give a guarantee that it would be in place in time.

The childcare industry already has concerns about how the extra demand will be managed, as they have received little information from the government about the support, they will receive to ensure that extra provision can be properly managed, according to Ms Peacock.

She added: “In Parliament I called on the government to provide clarity on their childcare policy.

“Whilst the government are saying they’re ready to deliver one minute then backtracking the next, childcare providers in Barnsley are concerned about how they’re going to have the capacity to manage the extra hours.

“It is not fair that those delivering the provision are unsure of how they are expected to deliver what is expected of them and the government must explain how this will work as soon as possible.”