AROUND 3,700 families in South Lakeland and Eden look set to benefit from the Government's plan to pay working families up to £2,000 per child towards care costs.

It is estimated that more than 13,000 families in Cumbria would benefit from the policy, announced this morning by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Under the arrangements, the childcare scheme will be increased from £1,200 to £2,000 per child, beginning in Autumn 2015.

Working parents earning at least £50 per week will receive 20 per cent off the cost of childcare, up to a limit of £10,000 for every child under 12. Parents who work part time will also be eligible for support with childcare costs.

Britain has some of the most expensive childcare costs in the world - with fees rising at more than twice the rate of inflation, according to the Daycare Trust.

It is estimated that 2,400 families would benefit in South Lakeland and 1,300 in Eden.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “As a dad I know how hard it can be to juggle work and family life. I have consistently called on senior government ministers to do more to make childcare affordable and available to everyone.

"Parents I speak to across our area have told me that this was a major issue for them. That's why we lobbied hard for this new scheme - today's announcement is a testament to parents of South Cumbria who raised the issue with me.

“Every parent who wants to work should be able to - without seeing every penny of their wages disappear in childcare bills. Add in the cost of travel to work and mums can find themselves effectively working full time for just a couple of pounds a week.

"This announcement today will make a big difference to thousands of people and is very welcome news.”