Families are taking advantage of free learning and childcare… are you?

Help is at hand with a number of free childcare options to help working families and we don’t want anyone to miss out!

Who is entitled to free learning and childcare?

All 3 and 4 year old children have been entitled to 15 hours of free learning and childcare during school term time for many years now. Recently the entitlement has been extended to some 2 year olds if their parents receive certain benefits or a low income. In September 2017, ‘30 hours free childcare’ was launched, which entitles some working parents of 3 and 4 year old children to an additional 15 hours of free childcare.

All these entitlements ease the pressures for families juggling work and money.

In the summer of 2018 more than 3,000 families benefited from receiving 30 hours of free childcare, we would like more families to benefit.

Can I get this support alongside other benefits?

The free early learning and childcare entitlements can also be used with other schemes such as Tax Free Childcare, Universal Credits or Tax Credits.

How can I benefit?

This is how a family could benefit; if a three year old child attends nursery for 50 hours a week and the parents are entitled to 30 hours free childcare they would need to pay for the remaining 20 hours.

If they are also eligible for tax credits they could claim back up to 70% of the cost for the 20 hours, so they would only have to pay for 6 hours. In a similar example, a family with a two year old eligible to 15 hours would pay for the remaining 35 hours but if they were also eligible to claim 70% tax credits they would only have to pay for 10½ hours[1].

Why is this important for my child?

Learning sessions at a high quality early learning provider also make a real difference to your child’s future. Research shows that children who go to early learning providers are more confident, learn quicker, and have better language skills. They also have a head start at school and continue to achieve, as they grow older.

Cllr Masood Ahmed, our Cabinet member for Learning and Aspiration said:

“I understand all too well that any help to ease the pressures of juggling work and paying for childcare is an entitlement that families really should be taking advantage of.

I would urge anyone with 2, 3 or 4 year olds to find out more about free childcare – there are a number of different options because all working families are not in the same situation. We want all children and families to benefit and get the financial help and free learning they are entitled to.”

Where can I take advantage of free learning and childcare?

Free learning and childcare places are available from a range of approved childcare providers including childminders, day nurseries, pre-schools and playgroups or schools and academies which have a nursery.

Want to find out more?

Find out more about the free entitlements and tax free childcare at:

www.childcarechoices.gov.uk – check the criteria and use the childcare calculator to see which options would benefit your family.

To apply for 15 hours for your 2 year old visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/freechildcare

To apply for the extra 15 hours for your 3 or 4 year olds visit www.gov.uk/apply-30-hours-free-childcare

If you need help and advice please get in touch with the Kirklees Family Information Service fis@kirklees.gov.uk 01484 414887.

[1] These examples are to illustrate the potential benefits to a family however are dependent on individual family circumstances and the offers available at individual childcare providers.

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