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Area ranks above national average for two-year-olds benefiting from free childcare

12:35 pm, Monday, 14th November 2022 - 3 months ago

Children and families

North East Lincolnshire has ranked above the national average for two year old take up of free childcare.

The area ranked 3rd out of the 15 local authority areas in the Yorkshire and Humber region, with 89% of those eligible for free childcare actually taking up the offer. The national average is 72%.

Earlier this year in the Spring, the Council was rated as 5th out of 15 local authorities in the region. Since then, a further 3% of families in North East Lincolnshire who are eligible for the support have claimed their entitlement.

Councillor Margaret Cracknell, portfolio holder for children, education and young people at North East Lincolnshire Council, talked about why this data is important.

“It is vitally important that those families who are eligible for this free support do access it. We want out local children and families to get all the help and support that they need, and free childcare can make all the difference.

“It can mean that parents are able to return to work and increase their household income, or take time out for themselves. It can also ease the pressure on other family members who might be assisting with childcare.

“This support is available in various forms, from outright childcare to supplementing existing childcare arrangements.

“If you’re unsure what’s available and whether you’re eligible, do get in touch with the Families First Information Service.”

“Free Childcare is available to parents to help meet the costs of care for their children. I’m really pleased to see that we continue to rank not just above the average but also quite high amongst our neighbouring areas.

“I want to extend my thanks to the Council officers who spend a lot of time publicising this support and sharing it with the families that they work with. We’ve got an impressive rate of uptake of this support and that is testament to their excellent work.”

Your 2-year-old may be eligible for free childcare if you live in England and receive one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • child tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:

  • are looked after by a local authority
  • have a statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • get Disability Living Allowance
  • have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

You can check if you’re eligible at www.nelincs.gov.uk/two-year-old-funding. You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.

All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 free hours per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks, for example.

Some 3 to 4-year-olds are eligible for 30 hours free childcare a week.

There is now more help available to support families with their childcare costs than ever before.

To find out if you could be eligible for help with childcare costs visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.  

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