Loughborough Echo

Campaign urges parents to take-up free early years childcare places


A campaign has been launched to encourage parents and carers in Leicesters­hire to apply for free early years childcare places.

Studies have shown that nurseries, pre-schools or childminde­rs can support children’s developmen­t and help prepare them for school.

Currently, more than 8,000 Leicesters­hire children benefit from free childcare hours available for two, three and four-year-olds as part of the government’s Free Early Education Entitlemen­t (FEEE) scheme.

However, Leicesters­hire County Council is encouragin­g more people to claim their places and access either 570 or 1,140 hours of early learning and childcare per year.

The deadline for apply for the 30 hours funding for the spring term for working parents is December 31. To see if you qualify, or to apply, visit https:// www.gov.uk/30-hours-freechildc­are

Councillor Deborah Taylor, Leicesters­hire County Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “We have some fantastic childcare providers here in Leicesters­hire.

“Sending your child to an early years setting can have enormous benefits which can include building their social skills, helping them to gain independen­ce and improve their communicat­ion, confidence and self-esteem, as well as helping them get ready to go to school.

“The FEEE scheme also benefits families by providing an opportunit­y to go to work or college, extend your working hours, get ideas about learning and playing or enabling them to have more free time.”

If you have a two-year-old and would like to take advantage of the funding, you can check your eligibilit­y here: https://www.gov.uk/help-withchildc­are2-year-olds

All three-year-olds are entitled to 570 hours pre year the term after their third birthday.

As a working parent you may be able to claim for a further 570 (1,140 in total) a year, find out if you are eligible here: https://www.gov.uk/30-hoursfree

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