Working families are being reminded that they have just two weeks left to apply for extra free childcare.
All three and four year old children in the county are currently entitled to up to 15 hours free early education a week.
From September working parents may qualify for double that amount − up to 30 hours a week – which will allow them to can work more hours should they wish.
Derbyshire County Council are reminding parents who work to check if they qualify and to apply for the extra childcare before the upcoming deadline of 31 August 2017 by visiting Childcare Choices (opens in a new window)
If families are eligible, children can take up a place from the start of the next full term after their child’s third birthday. Parents who want to take up the extra childcare from September must apply before 31 August 2017.
Our Cabinet Member for Young People, Councillor Alex Dale said:
“This is very welcome extra funding from Government which will enable parents to work more hours if they want to while giving their children the opportunity to socialise and learn.
“I’d encourage all working parents with three to four year olds to visit the website as soon as they can and see if they qualify − the deadline to check if they’re eligible is coming up fast.
“We want local families to know what support is available to them and make sure they’re getting the help they are entitled to.”
Across Derbyshire it’s estimated that more than 8,200 children could benefit from the extra hours, saving working parents up to £2,280 a year.
The council are working with schools, nurseries, pre-schools and childminders to encourage them to offer the extra free hours flexibly to meet the needs of working families.
To be eligible, families must meet the following criteria:
- both parents must be working (or the sole parent in a single parent family)
- each parent must earn on average at least £120 a week − equal to 16 hours at national minimum or living wage, including those on zero hour contracts
- each parent does not earn more than £100,000 a year.
Families may still qualify where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, adoption leave or statutory sick pay − or if one parent is working but the other is unable to work because of a disability or caring responsibilities.
Even if parents don’t qualify for the extra hours they will still be entitled to the universal 15 hours of free early education.
The extra hours are Government funded and eligibility is assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Parents with any questions about childcare offered in Derbyshire can contact the council, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01629 539316 or 01629 532835.