Free learning and childcare – don’t miss out!

Help is at hand with a number of free childcare options to help working families – are you taking advantage?

Who is entitled to free learning and childcare?

Some 2-year-olds whose parents receive certain benefits or a low income can have up to 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year (school term time). The same free childcare offer applies to ALL 3 and 4-year-olds.

An additional 15 hours of free childcare is also available to some working parents of 3 and 4-year-old children (known as 30 hours free childcare). Some childcare providers will offer free hours in the school holidays too, for example, children could have 11 or 22 hours each week for up to 51 weeks of the year.

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?

Here’s an example: If a 2-year-old child attends nursery for 25 hours a week and is entitled to 15 hours free learning and childcare, this would leave just 10 hours to pay for. But if the parents are also eligible for Tax Credits they could claim back up to 70% of their childcare costs, leaving just 3 hours to pay for[1].

Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:

“It’s hugely important to us that children across Kirklees enjoy the best start in life. It’s well established that children who attend an early learning provider gain vital skills which boost their development, prepare them for life at school and help them to achieve.

We also want parents to have every opportunity to work, study and be economically active, so the time provided by free childcare is incredibly valuable. Free childcare helps families to juggle their time, money and commitments and can make a fundamental difference in improving the lives of adults and children alike.”

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, as well as schools and academies which have a nursery.

Want to find out more?

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

The Childcare Choices website – 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 our website

To apply for the extra 15 hours for your 3 or 4 year olds visit this link to the application website.

If you need help and advice please get in touch with the Kirklees Family Information Service: 01484 414887.

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.