Do you qualify for help with nursery costs?

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If your family is living on low income or your two-year-old has additional needs, you could be eligible for up to 15 hours of free childcare.

The hours can be redeemed at selected nurseries, childminders, pre-schools or children’s centres.

The aim of the programme is to enable local children to receive high-quality early education that will help them to be ready for school.

Councillor Sue Macmillan, cabinet member for Children and Education, said: “Taking advantage of the borough’s nurseries and other childcare can help children learn social skills while giving parents time for themselves.

“We’re working hard to ensure eligible parents are aware of the free hours and all the benefits they can bring.” 

The free nursery support has already made a big difference to one White City family. Dad Brian Green applied for funding for his son Andre to attend the popular Vanessa Nursery in Cathnor Road, Shepherds Bush. Since then, Andre has excelled.

Brian said: “It’s so beneficial for a two-year-old to be around other children of his age. They feed off each other and it was great for my son Andre to have a new routine.”

Being a single father on benefits at the time, the free childcare gave Brian time to go out and look for work. “I really enjoyed watching him grow and shine with his peers,” he added.

The free childcare is available for parents whose child is (or is turning) two-years-old and who have a household income of less than £16,190 a year, are on job seekers’ allowance, income support or employment and support allowance.      

If your child is eligible, you can start claiming their free 15 hour place the term after they turn two.

For more information, contact the Family Information Service on 0845 313 3933 or