Parents encouraged to apply for free childcare funding

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Parents with two-year-old children are being encouraged to apply for government funding for free childcare by Warwickshire County Council.

From September 2014, if parents are receiving one or more of the following benefits, free childcare places are available for two-year-olds:

* Income Support

* Income based Job Seekers Allowance

* Income related Employment and Support Allowance

* Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act

* The Guarantee element of the State Pension Credit

* Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit with an annual household income of less than £16,190

There are some additional categories of children who also qualify:

* Children being looked after by the local authority

* Children who have left care through special guardianship or adoption

* Children with a current statement of Special Educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan

* Children who qualify for Disability Living Allowance

Councillor Colin Hayfield, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for education and learning, said: “We have helped more than 1,000 families to get a free childcare place so far.

“We still want to make sure that as many eligible parents as possible are aware that they can apply for free childcare places for two year olds.

“We are committed to helping wherever we can to help improving the quality of life for our residents and want to encourage eligible parents to contact us.”

Parents who qualify will save money and every eligible child will be given the opportunity to experience high quality early years education with the support of an Ofsted registered nursery or childminder.

Cllr Bob Hicks, Chair of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said:

“There is overwhelming evidence that quality early years education has a significant positive impact on children’s later development.

“We would like to see every child start school with the best possible chance of meeting their full potential.”

Parents who meet the criteria are encouraged to contact the 2 Help team at 2help@warwickshire.gov.uk or 01926 742218 or 01926 742233.

For general information about childcare and early education or to request a list of nurseries and pre-schools in your area, contact FIS by telephone on 01926 742274/0845 090 8044 or by email at fis@warwickshire.gov.uk.