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Working parents of kids aged three and four could get 15 hours extra childcare a week

PUBLISHED: 13:12 18 August 2017

Extra hours can be used with more than one childcare provider

Extra hours can be used with more than one childcare provider

Serhiy Kobyakov

This will be on top of the hours of free childcare already offered

Bexley council has announed that working parents of three and four-year-olds could be entitled to an extra 15 hours-a-week of free childcare on top of the basic amount on offer, from September.

The hours can be taken over 38 weeks-a-year during term time, or stretched over more weeks with fewer hours each week.

Hours can also be used with more than one childcare provider.

Those eligible for the extra hours need to sign up and apply online to get a code to give to your childcare provider - this will reserve your place. Parents will then get the extra hours after your child turns three and once the next term starts.

All three and four-year-olds in England can already access 570 free hours of childcare a year, usually taken as 15 hours-a-weel for 38 weeks of the year.

Councillor Philip Read, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I welcome this initiative by the government. It recognises and addresses the fact that some parents are leaving work, or working fewer hours than they would like, because they find it difficult to meet rising childcare costs.

“These free extra hours will help working parents to stay in work if they would like to do so, as well as better balance their work and home life.”

Visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk for more information and to check if you are eligible, then click on the ‘apply now’ button to make your funded childcare application. The deadline for September applications is Thursday August 31.

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