North East Lincolnshire has ranked above the national average for two year old take up of free childcare
The area ranked 5th out of the 15 local authority areas in the Yorkshire and Humber region, with 86% of those eligible for free childcare actually taking up the offer. The national average is 74%.
Councillor Margaret Cracknell, portfolio holder for children, education and young people at North East Lincolnshire Council, explained what the data means for local parents.
“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.
“Getting childcare can make all the difference to a family. It can mean parents are able to return to work earlier and increase their household income, and it can ease the burden on other members of the family too. With the free childcare offer, it’s possible to reduce the cost of childcare.
“A lot of local residents will be eligible for these vouchers but might not realise it. The council’s children’s services do quite a lot of work to publicise information on these vouchers, working with local nursery and day care settings and writing to parents.”
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.