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Parents wanting to claim 30 hours a week of funded childcare for their children should think about applying as soon as possible.

Countdown to apply for 30 hours’ childcare

Parents wanting to claim 30 hours a week of funded childcare for their children should think about applying as soon as possible.

The next places are available across the county from September 1 for children who celebrate their third birthday between April 1 and August 31 2018.

But to claim the funding parents must register at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk .

Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

September may seem a long way off, but not only do parents need to go to the website and register, but once parents have a registration code they must contact their preferred childcare provider to make the necessary arrangements.

Getting it all sorted now provides peace of mind for parents that everything is in place for the autumn term and also helps us plan ahead with providers to ensure supply can meet demand across Staffordshire.”

To be eligible for 30 hours’ funded childcare both parents, or the parent in a single-parent family, must earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at the national minimum wage, or living wage.

Places are also available for children who are already three or four years old, but haven’t yet been registered.

In Staffordshire 96 per cent of pre-school places are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, so parents can be confident this scheme helps them and helps their child get the best possible start before going to school.

Mark Sutton added:

This scheme makes a huge different to parents’ lives – it allows them to work more hours, or change their work life balance, or simply keep money in their pockets.

I’d urge everyone who thinks they may be eligible to take the next step and check the website as soon as possible.”