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Parents to benefit from more free childcare

Some working parents of three and four-year-olds are now entitled to receive double the amount of free childcare.

Parents can now apply for up to 30 hours of free childcare each week in term-time, up to a maximum of 1140 hours each year.

This has been increased from the 15 hours of free childcare that all three and four-year-olds are already entitled to receive weekly, in the term after their third birthday.

The additional 15 hours of free childcare is available for families where both parents are working, or the single parent is working in a single-parent family, and each parent earns the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. Parents also each need to earn less than £100,000 a year.

Eligibility can be checked by visiting www.childcarechoices.gov.uk and completing the online form.

County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools said: “I would urge parents to find out if they are entitled to these extra hours of childcare. The extra hours will make it easier for parents to work.

“Children can really benefit from early education, as it helps children to develop in so many ways and gives parents a helping hand too.”

Parents can apply to use the hours at participating nurseries, playgroups, childminders and some schools.

More information is available about the scheme and childcare providers in the area at www.lancashire.gov.uk/childcare.

Any parents that are unsure about the free hours affecting any other benefits or how to obtain their eligibility code can contact HMRC directly on 0300 123 4097.

More information is also available on Twitter. You can track the #LancsFIS hashtag for updates from the Family Information Service and #ChildcareChoices for further details about all government childcare offers.

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