Last year, we spent a record £5billion on this support, but we know that for some parents high childcare costs are still an issue. As parents, you will know how difficult families find weighing up the cost of returning to work or taking on more hours with the cost of childcare.
62p doesn't quite buy you a first class stamp but this modest sum has averted the collapse of a hotly-anticipated Department for Education pilot scheme.
Those that know me will know I can't resist a Disney connection but sadly this is not a fun filled article, it is a serious one that has huge repercussions for the childcare industry.
Care is in crisis. Growing numbers of older people need care, but fewer older people are actually getting help. That means more and more older people are paying for care themselves, or rely on family/friends, or struggle without help.
In January, David Cameron spoke about children's early years and the role of parents, calling it "the most important job we'll ever have". He took some flak for suggesting that parents deserve more support than we currently give them, but he was right. Focusing the Government's passion for improving life chances into a national programme to improve our children's development should be an open goal for the Prime Minister. I don't want him to hesitate and fluff his chance.
Today's Queen's Speech promises some significant steps forward for the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK today. While we share the Prime Minister's high ambitions for children, the proposed legislative changes are not, by themselves, a fix-all. Every child deserves to have a happy childhood and to get the support they need to succeed in life. They are our future.
The Government wants to upgrade the calibre of staff entering the Early Years profession. So indeed does the sector, so what's the problem? The issue is the entry qualification. The Government wants it to only be GCSEs at C or above in English and Maths.
So there we have it. Some men are more equal than others - in exposure to tax liability, at least. The Panama Papers have revealed just how deviously and unethically many wealthy individuals protect their assets, reduce their exposure to tax, and pay as little into or back to their communities as they can get away with.
While they are keen to help families with the cost of childcare, providers are worried that offering more funded hours will simply mean bigger losses, threatening their whole business model.
I am vehemently against bringing formal education into nursery settings. There is an enormous amount of evidence that suggests children should not be in a formal educational setting until the age of six or even seven years old. Until then they should be in a nurturing, play based environment.
I am going to go ahead and say it: I AM GOOD AT MY JOB. I am not a big head, neither am I arrogant - how can I be? I have forever lacked the belief. I am not perfect - no-one is, but I think I have finally found something I believe I am good at.
Friday 1 April is a notable day for many low paid workers, as the national minimum wage becomes the national living wage. It will rise from £6.70 an hour to £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and over.
Where I live, in a fairly ordinary part of North London, a full-time childminder or nursery place can cost over £20,000. For one child. If you have two children, you're looking at nearly twice that. Childminders charge per child, as do nurseries.
When are the actual wishes of mothers, overwhelmingly for greater financial support to care and freedom to make choices which honour their wishes, going to be addressed? In the spirit of democracy. When are the human beings at the heart of all this going to be the priority instead of human capital at the centre of capitalist neoliberalism?
With recent government announcements on the development of strategies covering Life Chances, the early years' workforce and the future of Children's Centres, let's remember the fundamental importance of children and young people's speech, language and communication skills.
With the Budget been and gone the next political battle on the horizon is the May elections. Here in London, all eyes are on a race that's still too tight to call. While much has been made of the different candidates' positions on Europe, party politics and - of course - the city, less attention has been paid to the difference the Mayor can make for London's families.