Do you qualify for more free childcare?

Councillor Boyd Elliott.
Councillor Boyd Elliott.

Parents and carers of three and four year olds are being invited to find out if they are eligible for more free childcare.

All parents who have children aged three and four are currently entitled to 15 hours a week free childcare. For working parents, this is being doubled to 30 hours a week from September.

Mum Claire Smith, daughter Sophia and Andrea Baker, Nursery Manager on the right

Mum Claire Smith, daughter Sophia and Andrea Baker, Nursery Manager on the right

Free childcare places are available at a range of early years settings including nursery schools, day nurseries, pre-schools and childminders.

Parents and carers need to apply to the Government before the end of August in order to find out if they are eligible in order to secure a childcare place from September.

Nottinghamshire County Council is prepared for the introduction of the extended childcare provision and is supporting local providers and parents and carers about the changes by sharing and promoting information.

Information has been shared with children’s centres, libraries and primary schools.

This extension of free childcare will help working parents to reduce the financial burden of childcare.

Nottinghamshire also has an excellent provision of Ofsted registered childcare providers providing a lot of choice and quality childcare for parents and carers.

Paper Moon nursery has nurseries in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Forest Town, Compton Acres and Gamston. Area manager Alison Hill said: “We have been working closely with Nottinghamshire County Council and parents to learn more about these changes to free childcare hours to make sure the information is accurate so that people know what it all means in readiness for September. It will certainly help a lot of families.”

Claire Smith, 29, from Forest Town, has a three year old daughter Sophia who attends Paper Moon’s Forest Town nursery. Claire said: “Sophia attends the nursery five days a week, ten hours a day, so she is in for 50 hours a week. This will make a massive difference for me and it could make us about £400 better off every month. It’s really nice that working parents will benefit from it.”

For more information and to find out your eligibility visit: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk . Successful applicants will then receive a code which they then take to their chosen childcare provider as soon as possible.

Parents are being urged to apply as soon as possible if they want a childcare place for September.

For a list of the early years settings included in the Nottinghamshire Directory of Providers, visit: www.nottshelpyourself.org.uk