Parents of children under five can now apply for 30 hours free childcare

young girl at childcare
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Parents with a child under the age of five can now apply for a 30 hours free childcare place for September 2017.

The new 30 hours free childcare offer for working parents of three and four-year-olds in England doubles the current 15 hours of free childcare currently available to all parents.

The new childcare service means that those who are eligible could save up to £5,000 a year.

Parents across the UK can also apply for Tax-Free Childcare, which cuts childcare costs by up to £2,000 a year for each child under 12 years old, or £4,000 per year for disabled children under 17 years old.

Parents with a child born on or after 1 April 2013 can now apply for Tax-Free Childcare. All eligible parents will be able to apply for the scheme by the end of 2017.

Parents can apply for the schemes via the government’s online childcare service. They can apply for all of their children once their youngest child qualifies, avoiding the need to provide the same information twice.

The service is part of a £55 million boost to childcare schemes, announced by Early Years Minister Caroline Dinenage in April.

The boost helped nurseries, pre-schools and playgroups invest in new buildings and upgrade facilities.

The service initially opened to parents with children under the age of four, and disabled children under 17, in April 2017 and more than 140,000 parents have already successfully applied through the service.

Included in the financial boost, it was announced that nearly £5 million will go to organisations that are helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds or with additional needs to access high-quality early education, so that every child can reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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