Kent County Council is reminding local parents to claim 15 hours a week of free childcare and education for 38 weeks a year for children aged two who are eligible – as well as all three- and four-year-olds.
The government initiative provides children with the opportunity to access a free place in a nursery, nursery class, pre-school or with a childminder, free-of-charge.
Parents of two-year-olds are eligible if they are claiming certain benefits –
with no restrictions on claiming the free places for three- and four-year-olds.
The 15 hours can be split between two providers – for example, a nursery and a childminder.
The entire 15 hours do not need to be used if parents do not require all the hours available.
Parents can also choose to use the hours at any time between 7am and 7pm, for a minimum of two-and-a-half hours per day, up to a maximum of 10 hours per day.
Cabinet Member for Education at Kent County Council, Roger Gough, said:
“There is evidence that the first five years of a child’s life have the most influence on their future life chances.
“As we have noticed that some parents – especially those with an eligible two- year-old – are not taking advantage of this free offer, we are encouraging everyone with children in these age groups to consider using the free 15 hours a week.”
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