Parents urged to apply for free childcare

Working parents and carers of three and four-year-olds in Sandwell are being urged to claim 30 hours of free childcare.

All children aged three and four get 15 hours of free childcare a week, and parents who work may also be eligible for an extra 15 hours a week during term-time, giving them 30 hours per week. Parents must be working and each earning at least £125 a week, but no more than £100,000 a year. Sandwell Council's cabinet member for children's services Councillor Simon Hackett said:

"I'd urge families who are eligible and want to take up the offer of more flexible, free childcare to apply for it now. The extra hours can help parents to increase their own hours at work and the offer is available with participating day nurseries, school nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools and childminders."
Eligible children qualify for 30 hours free childcare from the term following their third birthday until they reach compulsory school age. Parents of children who are three by 31 August 2018 can apply for the extra hours now to start in September 2018.
If eligible, parents will receive an 11-digit code from the HMRC which needs to be given to their chosen childcare provider.
Funding can only be redeemed at the start of each term. If you miss the deadline for the autumn term, funding will be offered for the start of the new term in January 2019. 
Sandwell has seen a rapid response by parents taking up places for their children since the introduction of the 30-hour offer in September 2017 with approximately 1,500 children taking up their offer by the summer term. Currently, 96% of codes that are validated in Sandwell result in a child taking up a place.    
For information on how to apply, eligibility criteria and childcare providers, you can look online or call 0121 569 4914.


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