Free child care for two-year olds on the way

A stack of pound coins.

A stack of pound coins.

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Free childcare places for some two-year olds within the Isle of Axholme will become available this year.

Funding for early years education has been extended to allow for 20 per cent of two-year olds across North Lincolnshire to qualify for the boost, and recipients will rise to 40 per cent by next year.

For those youngsters who are eligible, the funding will give them 15 hours free childcare each week during school term-time.

The scheme kicks in in September, and will provide opportunities for children to learn in fun settings and make friends within supervised care.

All the childcare will be provided in places that have been rated good or outstanding by Ofsted.

Settings will include private day nurseries, pre-schools and playgroups, children’s centres and accredited childminding schemes.

A pilot initiaitve was run involving almost 400 children, from which parents and carers gave positive feedback.

Coun Rob Waltham, cabinet member for people, said: “Extending the early education funding to two-year olds is fantastic as it means children will be able to receive high quality support from an earlier age - giving them the best start in life. “

To qualify, parents or carers in North Lincolnshire must be in receipt of benefits such as income support or jobseekers’ allowance.

For more information about eligibility or to apply, call 01724 296629 or visit the council’s website www.northlincs.gov.uk/eef.

Children who are looked after by the local authority will also qualify for the early years entitlement.