11 December 2013

City popular for pre school places

Brighton & Hove’s parents and carers have shown an enthusiastic response to the new national government funded scheme offering 15 hours of free childcare every week to eligible two year olds. 92% of children who are eligible have taken up places in Brighton & Hove compared with the national average of 70%, since last September when the scheme started.

 The scheme is open to approximately 20% of the city’s children whose parents or carers are claiming certain benefits, as well as looked after children or those who have a child protection plan. The city’s childcare providers are positive about the scheme too, with103 nurseries, pre-schools and childminders currently offering places.

 The scheme will be expanded next year, when from January the offer of free childcare is extended to adopted children and some children with disabilities, and later in the year, to families who are on a low income and claiming Working Tax Credits. This means that 40% of the city’s two year old will be able to benefit from the offer of free childcare.

 Chair of Children & Young People Committee, Councillor Sue Shanks said: “These figures just go to show what a great place Brighton & Hove is to grow up in. This city has a wonderful reputation for quality childcare, being in the top 5 nationally for our early years’ provision, which plays such a vital part in preparing our children for school. I am delighted that the parents and carers of Brighton & Hove have yet again placed us way above the national average in choosing our childcare.”

 More information:

 Current eligibility for a free place:

 Parent or carer in receipt of one or more of the following benefits,

• Income Support

• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

• Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

• Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

• Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

• Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (when Working Tax Credit stops)

Child Tax Credit with an annual income not over £16,190

 

For more information and to check eligibility, visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/fis.

 

The Family Information Service offers help and advice with:

 Finding local childcare services for all ages

 Financial help and advice

 Activities for children and young people in and around Brighton & Hove

 Call the Family Information Service on 01273 293545 or email   familyinfo@brighton-hove.gov.uk for more information