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Don’t miss out on extra free childcare

Parents in the East Riding are being urged to make sure they have applied for their 30 hours of free childcare to ensure they do not miss out on this new funding when it rolls out in September.

Eligible families with three and four year-olds will be entitled to access 30 hours of free childcare in their choice of early years provider from September, which is double the amount of free hours currently available.

However, unlike the current 15-hour funded offer, the onus is now on parents themselves to apply for the funding. To help secure a place and to enable childcare providers to plan, parents should aim to apply a term in advance,meaning parents need to start to apply now for the additional funded hours available from this September.

Parents can find out if they are eligible and more about the new offer by visiting the government website Childcare Choices at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

If parents are eligible, they will receive an 11 digit number which they pass onto childcare providers, along with their National Insurance number and their child’s date of birth. The provider will pass this information to East Riding of Yorkshire Council once parents have given written consent, so that the voucher code can be checked.

The 30 hours funding can be used in one setting or can be spread across different providers, for example 12 hours in a nursery and 18 with a childminder, over 38 weeks of the year.

Alternatively, parents can have fewer hours per week at a provider and stretch the hours over more than the 38 weeks, to help cover holiday periods. However, with some providers only open in term time, parents will need to check what funding they can use and where.

Bridget Bennett, service manager for early years and family support, said: “Recently published guidance has made it clearer how this funding will work for parents and providers. To date over 300 parents have already successfully applied for the new entitlement and we know they are now starting to contact our providers. We would urge other parents and carers who may be eligible for the extra funding to apply now to enable as many families as possible to get their full entitlement.”

The funded hours can be used in all registered settings such as pre-schools, nurseries and with childminders.

A full list of providers’ details can be found on the Families Information Service Hub (FISH) website, http://www2eastriding.gov.uk/living/children-and-families/the-family-information-service-hub/ or ring the FISH team on (01482) 396469.