Understanding nursery choices can be very confusing particularly if it’s your first experience of dealing with early childhood education and care.
Some children may be entitled to a free 15 hour nursery place or 15 hours of alternative childcare provision (i.e. childminder) when they are two-years-old.
If you can afford to pay for a nursery place, there are number of local private nurseries that take children from very young ages and some offer 15 hours of free childcare.
15 hours free childcare for 2 year old children
If you have a two-year-old and are on a low household income, you may be entitled to receive 15 hours free childcare a week, 38 weeks of the year. Please see here all 2-year-old free childcare eligibility criteria.
Click here and apply online - all you need is your National Insurance number.
The benefits of early education
Research shows that children who attend nursery from a young age do better when they start school and throughout their whole education.
At nursery your child can:
- Develop self-confidence
- Improve their speaking, listening and language skills
- Become more excited about learning, meeting new people and mixing with other children
- Get ready for school
For more information please call the Family Information Service on 0845 313 3933 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
15 hours free childcare for 3 & 4 year old children
If you have a child aged three or four, they can get 15 hours a week of free childcare / early education regardless of your family’s income or residency status. Your child would be entitled to their free place starting from the new term after their third birthday.
The 15 hours a week is available for 38 weeks of the year (a total of 570 hours per year), that you may use flexibly with one or more childcare providers (depending on the provider). Some childcare providers will allow you to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours each week.
Free 15-hour childcare places are available at participating:
- Nurseries and nursery classes
- Playgroups and pre-schools
You can search the Family Information Directory for your nearest childcare provider.
For more information contact the Family Information Service on 0845 313 3933 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm) or email email@example.com
30 hours free nursery education for 3 & 4 year old children with working parents
All three and four-year-old children living in the UK, regardless of family income or residency status, are entitled to 15 hours of free early education at nursery or an early years setting.
In addition, a new entitlement came into effect in September 2017 providing an extra free 15 hours a week (30-hours in total) for 38 weeks of the year (term-time only) for children that meet the eligibility criteria.
To find out if you are eligible for the extra 15 hours visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
The extended hours support working parents
The aim is to help working parents with the costs of childcare, so they can return to work, continue to work or increase their working hours by reducing the financial burden of childcare.
30 hours free childcare is available at participating
- School Nurseries
- Full day care (e.g. nurseries)
- Session providers (e.g. playgroups)
For more information please check Family Information Directory website
The Tax-Free Childcare offer is a new scheme that was launched by the Government from early 2017 alongside the additional 15 hours free childcare for working parents. This scheme is designed to help working families with their childcare costs.
To find out more about the new and existing offers, and how they can help you, go to the Childcare Choices website today at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
We understand that the entire school admissions process can be a little daunting. Family Support staff are on hand to help with queries, accompany you on nursery visits and help with completing any paperwork. Pop into one of our family centres, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 8753 6070.
Developing healthy brains
Every child needs loving, nurturing care from the adults around them if they are to develop the healthy brains they need to be able to thrive and this is even more important in the first few years of life. Choosing the right nursery is all part of getting it right for your child, as well supporting healthy brain development.