Lancashire parents encouraged to take-up funded education and childcare places for three and four-year-olds
Lancashire County Council is reminding parents about funded early education and childcare places for three and four-year-old children.
From the term after their child's third birthday, they can have a funded place for up to 15 hours a week (570 hours per year) at a local nursery or with a childminder. Any child who turns three by the end of December could take-up a funded place from January 2023, and many working families may be eligible for up to 30 hours a week (1140 hours per year).
Across Lancashire, almost all nurseries and childminders are rated good or outstanding, so families can be confident their child is learning and being looked after in a safe, secure environment.
All local nurseries and childminders are fully inclusive and cater for a range of cultural, dietary, religious and special educational needs. Attending the sessions can help children make new friends and build their confidence, improve their speaking and listening skills and support them to get ready for starting school.
Katie Jenkin's son Jeremiah, aged 3, has a place at Alston Lane Nursery and she said:
"Jeremiah has really progressed with his speech and language and his vocabulary has improved since attending the nursery. He's become more independent and has made lots of new friends. It's also allowed me to continue working part-time without affecting my income."
County Councillor Jayne Rear, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:
"There are so many benefits for children taking up a place in a nursery setting or with a registered childminder before they start school. As well as having professionally trained staff on hand to help them develop new skills through play-based learning, they will enjoy spending time with other children their own age.
"We are proud to have a very high take up in Lancashire. 98% of 3 and 4-year-olds are registered with a nursery or childminder compared to the national average of 92%. However, in some parts of the county, take up is significantly below the national average, so we'd really like to encourage more parents to take up the funded place offer in these areas."
Lancashire parents can go to the county council's website, lancashire.gov.uk/childcare to find out more about three and four year old funded places.
Notes to editors
For further advice, contact the Family Information Service on 0300 123 6712 or email: FIS@lancashire.gov.uk
To hear more about Katie Jenkins experiences of using funded childcare see Funded childcare places: Katie’s story - YouTube