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Time for you two, or three, four and a little more

Date Published: 20 August 2021
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Rutland County Council’s Early Years’ Service is encouraging parents to check whether their child may be eligible to access government-funded Early Education and Childcare places.

A ‘Time for you -Two’ campaign has been launched by the service to let families know that children aged two may be eligible to benefit from up to 15 hours a week of Early Education with an approved, registered childcare provider. This is available to parents who already receive some government support, such as certain benefits, or whose child has a disability, or has been looked after by the local authority.

“Early Years and Childcare support is really important for families. It’s not just time for children to play, explore and learn important social skills, it’s also time for parents to learn new skills, volunteer or restart work, if they choose.” Dawn Godfrey, Director for Children’s Services at Rutland County Council

In England, all three and four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of funded Early Education and Childcare, which starts from the school term after a child’s third birthday.  So the Council has launched a ‘Three, Four and a little more?’ campaign as well, reminding families and childcare providers about possibilities for additional sources of funding. 

For instance, a provider may be entitled to just over £300 of funding a year to boost each three and four-year-old child’s development through the Early Years Pupil Premium. Disability Access Funding could give extra assistance to providers that will enable children with disabilities or special educational needs to access their Early Years’ places.

“We also know that the cost of paying for holiday childcare can be hard for many families. So through ‘Three, Four and a little more?’ we’re reminding working parents, including the self-employed, about the Tax Free Childcare account. This helps them with the cost of extra hours of childcare, particularly during school holidays. The Government has acknowledged that take-up of Tax Free Childcare is lower than expected - which means many eligible parents are missing out on this.” Dawn Godfrey added

The scheme is available to parents of children up to and including the age of 11 (or until the age of 17 for children with disabilities). Tax Free Childcare accounts offer an option of spreading out childcare costs across the year with monthly ‘deposits’ - and for every £8 paid-in by parents, the Government adds £2. 

For each child, parents may gain up to £500 every three months (up to £2,000 a year) to go towards costs of approved childcare including childminders, nurseries and nannies, after school clubs and play schemes. This goes up to £1,000 every three months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

Get more information about ‘Time for you – Two’ in Rutland by calling 01572 758484 or visiting Visions Children’s Centre, Oakham. Information can be found online at

www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

For further details of ‘Three, Four and a little more?’, parents should speak to their childcare provider, visit: www.rutland.gov.uk/learning, visit: ris.rutland.gov.uk and click on ‘Families’, or go to the website: childcarechoices.co.uk

Find out about Tax Free Childcare and apply to open an online account at

www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare

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