Funded childcare benefits thousands of families

People, Health and Care
15:36, Tuesday, 19th February 2019

North Lincolnshire Council is encouraging all families to take advantage of funded childcare of up to 15 hours a week for children aged three and four years.

All children aged three on or before 31 December 2018 are eligible for up to 15 hours per week of funded early education. Children can start straight away; there is no application process.

Parents should contact their chosen childcare provider who will discuss what they offer, how they help your child settle and the types of activities your child will benefit from. It is recommended that you visit a number of childcare providers to see which is best for your child.

Parents can choose the number of hours to meet their child’s needs (up to a maximum of 15 hours per week for 38 weeks per year) and can increase the hours termly if they wish. Each type of setting offers different sessions, from three hours to full days.

Children can access their funded place in:

  • A private day nursery
  • A pre-school or playgroup
  • With an accredited childminder
  • A children’s centre with day care
  • Schools

A child’s home learning environment is key for a good start for children, but high quality early education provides lasting benefits to children throughout their school years. Whatever type of setting parents choose, their early education is through a range of learning opportunities centered on play. These include: painting, reading, cooking, climbing, singing, dancing, dress-up, running around, building and gardening – plus much, much more!

Parents of three and four-year olds in employment may also be eligible for an additional 15 hours childcare during term time (up to a maximum of 30 hours per week for 38 weeks per year). Parents are encouraged to apply now for an eligibility code to use from 1 April 2018.  To find out more about the additional 15 hours and how to apply for this, visit the Childcare Choices website.

Cllr David Rose, cabinet member for Children, Families, Learning and Leisure, said:

“Early education can make a real difference to children’s life chances. It supports their communication, language and social skills, as well as their physical development and understanding of the world in readiness for school.

“It helps families who work, but it can also assist families who wish to return to work, or increase their working hours, by making childcare more affordable.

“If you are in work and have a three or four year old who you would like to access the additional 15 hours funding, apply as soon as possible to make sure you get the funding in time for the summer term.”

For more information about support with the cost of childcare including funded childcare for two and three year-olds and Tax Free Childcare, contact the Family Information Service on 01724 297000 or visit the funded childcare page.

Parents who already use various childcare settings in North Lincolnshire have said:

  • “I feel safe and happy letting my little boy attend. He has learnt so much in the past few years and continues to grow and make friends. I couldn’t ask for a better place to have sent him. Lovely staff.”
  • “Our childminder is fantastic and we could not ask for anything more than what she gives.”
  • “My pre-school provides excellent services; providing children with a nurturing and supporting environment.”
  • “I am extremely happy with my daughter’s care. They are very accommodating, friendly and do so much with my daughter in the way of her continued development. I highly recommend them.”