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Eligible parents should register as soon as possible for 30 hours' childcare.

Deadline imminent for 30 hours’ childcare applications

The deadline for parents to claim 30 hours a week of funded childcare is just hours away.

Places are available from January 1 for children who celebrate their third birthday between September 1 and December 31 2017.

But to claim the funding parents must register at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk before January 1.

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

If eligible parents want their three and four-year-olds to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity in the New Year they must act now.”

To be eligible 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.

Mark Sutton added:

Having 30 hours of childcare funded every week makes a huge difference to families – it lets parents go back to work or take on extra hours, it changes their work life balance, or simply puts money back in people’s pockets.

I’ve heard for myself some of the stories that parents tell about how this scheme benefits them and I would encourage everyone who is eligible to claim what they are entitled to.

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.”

Once parents have a registration code from the website they must contact their preferred childcare provider to make arrangements.

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

The 30 hours scheme was rolled out nationally in the autumn after being trialled in Staffordshire in 2016/17.