Are you missing out on free learning and childcare?

child sat on a someone's knee. Promotional text: Are you Eligible, Free learning and childcare for 2 year olds worth up to £2850

Help is at hand with a number of different options to help families across Kirklees.

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 during school term time 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:

“The pandemic has affected every one of us individually and we can’t underestimate the huge impact that it has had on younger lives and many families across Kirklees. It’s really important to us that children and families have the help they need to get back to some normality and that children are supported to enjoy the best start in life.

It’s well evidenced that children who attend an early learning provider gain vital skills which boost their development, prepare them for life at school, help them learn, laugh and have fun. We also want parents to have the 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 big 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 on The Childcare Choices website – check the criteria and use the childcare calculator to see which options would benefit your family.

Apply for 15 hours for your 2-year-old by visiting our website.

Apply for the extra 15 hours for your 3 or 4 year olds. Please note there is a cut-off deadline each term; 31 December for places starting in the spring term (January to Easter), 31 March for places starting in the summer term (Easter to July) and 31 August for places starting in the autumn term (September to December).

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 – please note they are dependent on individual family circumstances and the offers available at individual childcare providers.