2 June 2016

£120k council bid success for free childcare plan

Brighton & Hove is leading the way nationally on plans to double the amount of free childcare working parents are entitled to.

All parents of three and four year old children are already entitled to up to 15 hours a week of free childcare. But from September 2017 the government intends to double the offer to 30 hours a week for working parents.

Brighton & Hove City Council has successfully bid for £120,000 of government funding to investigate how much demand there is likely to be for this new national offer and to help plan for the extra demand.

This will include working on specific issues, such as how to make it easier for childcare providers to offer places for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The council’s early years team is also running a series of events starting in the autumn for childcare providers and childminders to help them adapt their nurseries and pre-schools to meet the new entitlement.

The team is now surveying parents in the city who have pre-school children to find out whether they are likely to be interested in the new offer, which could lower their childcare costs or enable them to increase their hours of work.

To have your say please go to our consultation portal.

All parents who complete the survey have a chance of winning a £50 shopping voucher. The survey closes on 17 July 2016.

The chair of the council’s children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Tom Bewick, said: “This funding success is a clear signal that the government holds our early years team in very high regard.”