Extended childcare provision for three and four year olds
Parents and carers of three and four year olds are being reminded to find out if they are eligible for additional free childcare.
Since September 2017, all working parents who have children aged three and four are entitled to 30 hours a week, 1140 hours a year, free childcare.
Nottinghamshire County Council has supported parents to check their eligibility for 30 hours of weekly childcare provision and also provided business support and advice for local childcare providers.
Parents and carers should apply during the term that their child turns 3 so that funding can begin at the start of the following term. HMRC are currently advising parents to apply before the end of November to guarantee funding for the Spring term.
After applying, successful applicants will receive an eligibility code which they then take to their chosen childcare provider
In Nottinghamshire to date, a total of 4770 have received their eligibility code and 90 per cent have had their code validated by a local childcare provider, which puts Nottinghamshire in the top ten of local authorities across England where parents have received their codes and had them validated.
Free childcare places are available at a range of early years’ settings including nursery schools, day nurseries, pre-schools and childminders.
Parents and carers can find out if they are eligible at https://childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk/par/app/applynow
Eligibility criteria includes people must earn at least £120 a week and each parent must not earn more than £100,000 a year, one or both parents are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, those who are unable to work if they have a disability or caring responsibilities and where a parent is newly self-employed. Single parents can also apply.
Councillor Boyd Elliott, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “This extension of free childcare will help working parents to reduce the financial burden of childcare and at the same time support parents to increase the number of hours they work or encourage them into employment.
“Nottinghamshire has an excellent provision of Ofsted registered childcare providers providing a lot of choice and quality childcare for parents and carers.”