13 charities and organisations have called upon the Westminster Government to overturn the discriminatory decision to exclude all fostered children from accessing the additional 15 hours free childcare.

In a letter in The Guardian, the organisations urge the Children’s Minister, Robert Goodwill, to review the eligibility criteria and to reverse the decision immediately.

Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network and a member of the expert working group, said: ‘Half of all looked after children have a diagnosable mental health disorder and five times as many children in care have low subjective wellbeing compared to children in the general population; the issue of transforming the mental health of looked after children could not be more urgent. Three-quarters of looked after children live with foster carers, so any such transformation must have foster carers and fostering at its centre.