Free childcare for two year olds
Ref: PR 5002
Wakefield Council is urging families in the district to check if they are eligible for free childcare for their two year old.
Currently, only 72% of those entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week are taking this up. This is higher than the national average of a 58% take up, but the Council wants even more families to be able to benefit from the offer.
Cllr Olivia Rowley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "Fifteen hours of free childcare is a fantastic offer for those who need it most and can save families hundreds of pounds in childcare costs.
"Evidence shows that accessing education at two supports the development of communication and social skills while also helping them prepare for school.
"There are still many families in the district that could take advantage of our offer and I urge families with children aged two or under to check if they may be eligible."
Families with a child or children aged two years and are in receipt of the following support may be entitled:
• Income Support
• Income Based Job Seekers Allowance or Income Based Employment Support Allowance
• Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
• Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
• Child Tax Credit with a gross income of £16,190 or less
• Working Tax Credit with a gross income of £16,190 or less.
Families may also be entitled if their child:
• has a Statement of Special Educational Need or an Educational Health Care Plan
• is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
• is a Looked After Child, left care through Special Guardianship, Adoption Order or Residence Order.
The free childcare offer is available at many providers across the district which are registered and inspected by Ofsted. These include private day nurseries, independent schools, local authority day nurseries, pre-school playgroups, nursery schools and childminders.
In addition to the two year old offer, all three and four year old children are entitled to a free part-time nursery education place of up to 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year.
For more information call the Families Information Service on 01924 305665 or visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/earlyfree