Parents – don't forget to claim your entitlement to up to 30 hours of childcare from January
Did you know that if you're the parent of a 3 or 4-year-old you may be entitled to more than 1,100 hours of childcare and early education each year?
Every family with a youngster aged 3 or 4 is entitled to 570 hours of free childcare per year.
For more information and to see if you qualify, go to: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
This is often taken – particularly by parents who also have older school-aged children – as 15 hours per week during school term-times. However, parents can also opt to take fewer free hours each week over more weeks of the year.
In addition to this, if you and your partner – if you have one – work for more than 16 hours a week, you may be eligible for a further 570 hours of childcare a year. In order to qualify for this you must earn at least the National Minimum or Living Wage, and have a salary of less than £100,000 a year.
To check your eligibility all you need to do is log on to the Government website, check your entitlement, and sign up there for the free childcare you're entitled to.
Once signed up you'll get a code number to hand over to your childcare provider of choice –your local school nursery, private day nursery, or Early Years provider – in order to get your free hours.
However, to access a free place from next January, you must act now and sign up online by 31 December.
Councillor Sheila Newman, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Children's Services, said: “If you are a parent of a 3 or 4-year-old, don’t ignore your entitlement to childcare. I’d urge you to check your eligibility and make sure you don’t miss out – you could be in line for more than 1,100 hours of free childcare.”