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Jeremy Hunt has defended the speed of the rollout of his Budget offer of free childcare for working parents with children under the age of five, a policy which will not be fully available until September 2025. The Chancellor said: “This is the biggest transformation in childcare in my lifetime.”

He told Sky News: “It is a huge change and we are going to need thousands more nurseries, thousands more schools offering provision they don’t currently offer, thousands more childminders.

“We are going as fast as we can to get the supply in the market to expand.”