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Campaign urges parents to take-up free early years childcare places

early years

A campaign has been launched to encourage parents and carers in Leicestershire to apply for free early years childcare places. Studies have shown that nurseries, pre-schools or childminders can support children’s development and help prepare them for school.

Currently, more than 8,000 Leicestershire children benefit from free childcare hours available for two, three and four-year-olds as part of the government’s Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) scheme.

However, Leicestershire County Council is encouraging more people to claim their places and access either 570 or 1,140 hours of early learning and childcare per year.

The deadline for apply for the 30 hours funding for the spring term for working parents is December 31. To see if you qualify, or to apply, click here.

We have some fantastic childcare providers here in Leicestershire.

Sending your child to an early years setting can have enormous benefits which can include building their social skills, helping them to gain independence and improve their communication, confidence and self-esteem, as well as helping them get ready to go to school.

The FEEE scheme also benefits families by providing an opportunity to go to work or college, extend your working hours, get ideas about learning and playing or enabling them to have more free time.

During this pandemic Leicestershire, like many areas across the rest of the country, has seen a reduction in the amount of families accessing the free funding, although this is now increasing again.

Coronavirus has caused a lot of additional hardship for some and we urge families to use the resources available to their advantage

Councillor Deborah Taylor, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and families

If you have a two-year-old and would like to take advantage of the funding, you can check your eligibility here.

All three-year-olds are entitled to 570 hours pre year the term after their third birthday. As a working parent you may be able to claim for a further 570 (1,140 in total) a year, find out if you are eligible here.

All providers offering the FEEE are registered with Ofsted or a childminding agency and will be on the council’s directory of early years providers.

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