Families in Bolton have been urged to take advantage of funded early education and childcare places for two-year-olds.
The scheme offers 15 funded hours per week with an approved provider and is open to parents in receipt of benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit.
Despite this, there are an estimated 350 eligible children in Bolton whose parents are not taking advantage of the initiative.
Starting early education at age two helps children settle into a routine and learn new skills during a crucial stage in their development.
Early education and childcare professionals follow a national framework, tailor activities to support a child’s learning and work with parents to support learning at home.
The application process is simple and childcare providers claim the government funding via their local council.
Parents may be expected to cover some additional costs for nappies and other items.
Children can access their place from the term after their second birthday, but eligibility checks can take place the term before so they can start straight away.
Once a child is confirmed as eligible, they will keep their place even if their circumstances change.
I’d urge anyone whose child may be eligible for a place to apply as soon as possible
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Christine Wild, said:
“These funded places represent a significant saving for parents, supporting them to get back into work and helping give their children the best possible start to their education.
“There is a wide variety of childcare settings available in Bolton ranging from childminders to school-based nurseries.
“I’d urge anyone whose child may be eligible for a place to apply as soon as possible.”
Looked after children and children in receipt of disability living allowance are also eligible under the scheme.
Parents can learn more about childcare support by ringing the council’s Families Information team on 01204 332170 or visiting bolton.gov.uk/fundedchildcare.
All three and four-year-olds in England are entitled to 15 hours of funded childcare a week.