Peterborough parents can claim 30 hours of free childcare

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Working parents will be able to claim 30 hours of free childcare per week during term time, thanks to a new government scheme beginning in autumn 2017.

The scheme means three and four-year-olds could receive up to 1,140 hours of free childcare prior to primary education, if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Currently, all three and four-year-old children can receive up to 15 hours free early education per week over 38 weeks of the year.

The new entitlement can also be ‘stretched’ at some childcare providers so fewer hours can be used across more weeks, working out at 22 per week across the whole year.

More than 200 settings in Peterborough are offering 30 hours free childcare, which include childminders, day nurseries, pre-schools, independent schools and local authority owned settings.

Karen Hingston, head of early years and childcare centres for Peterborough City Council, said: “This is a fantastic scheme designed to help parents with the costs of childcare. Children will benefit immensely from spending more time in stimulating environments and amongst their friends.”

To be eligible, both parents must be in work and earning at least the equivalent of 16 hours per week at National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, but less than £100,000 per year.

Self-employed and single parent families can also apply, providing the sole parent is in work.

For more information about the scheme, including how to apply, visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/30hoursfree.