Sefton Council is encouraging working parents in the borough to find out if they are eligible for extra free childcare before it is made available in September.
All parents in the UK are already entitled to 15 hours per week free childcare and learning for their 3 and 4 year olds, but those families where both parents are working or a sole parent is in work, can access a further 15 hours per week support, taking them up to 30 hours.
To be eligible, each parent must earn the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the national or living wage, and less than £100,000 per year.
Councillor John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding at Sefton Council, said:
“The provision of extra free childcare will pose significant challenges for some settings in Sefton, while representing an opportunity for others.
What is clear, the offer of extra free support to lessen the costly burden of childcare will be welcomed by many parents, and as a local authority we will do all that we can to signpost them to the right information, so they can make informed decisions.
It is also worth bearing in mind that you may also be eligible if you are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or cannot work due to disability”
Mike McSorley, Head of Schools and Families at Sefton Council, said:
“While the new support for working parents is not available until September, they can check their eligibility now. I advise anyone who thinks they will be eligible to take the initiative and obtain an eligibility code, which they can present at the settings they choose.
“Parents can find local providers using the Sefton Directory. They can choose to place their child or children in more than one setting, whether in nurseries, children’s centres, playgroups, pre-schools or with childminders.”
Working parents can find out if they are eligible and research providers in the Childcare pages of the Sefton Directory: seftondirectory.com/childcare
You can also find out more about the 30 hours support by contacting Sefton Council’s Family Information Service on 0345 140 0845 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
The reality is however quite a different thing altogether
On the face of it, the idea is great. However, the ramifications behind the extra 15 hours funding are immense and will put childcare as a whole in a very dangerous position with many providers having to close their doors due to unsustainability. This is affecting childminders, pre-schools, day nurseries, nannies, EVERY area of the sector.