Only half of Northamptonshire two-year-olds use free childcare

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Parents are being urged by Northamptonshire County Council to check whether they are entitled to free childcare and education for their two-year-old.

Families could benefit from up to 15 hours free childcare a week with an approved nursery, childminder or pre-school.

And parents who receive Working Families Tax Credit with an income under £16,190 are eligible for the UK-wide scheme.

Applying for a free place will not affect families’ benefit entitlement.

County Hall estimates that there are around 3,380 eligible two-year-olds in Northamptonshire, yet only 1,650 families are taking advantage of the free childcare.

Councillor Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for children and families, said: “This scheme is a fantastic way for parents to benefit from childcare they might otherwise not be able to afford.

“Good early years education can greatly benefit a child’s learning, development and social skills.

“That’s why we are inviting parents to find out if they are eligible for free childcare with an approved early years provider in Northamptonshire.”

Parents can find out if they are eligible for free childcare by clicking here.