19 January 2017

New childcare places for working parents will be created in Northamptonshire from September thanks to a Government grant of almost £1 million.

The new places will be created for three and four-year-olds who will be eligible for 30 hours free childcare a week from this September, up from 15 hours a week under the current national scheme.

Who is eligible?

To qualify, both parents need to be working and earning the equivalent of 16 hours a week on National Minimum Wage, including those receiving tax credits or Universal Credit.

The new childcare places will be created at:

  • Compass Academy in Kettering – 60 new places
  • Corby Primary Academy – 40 new places
  • Stepping Stones in Brackley – 22 new places

Cllr Matthew Golby, cabinet member for children’s services at Northamptonshire County Council, which successfully applied for the grant and will distribute the money, said: “This is fantastic news for parents in Northamptonshire whose three and four-year-olds will soon be able to benefit from an extra 15 hours free childcare a week during term time.

“This scheme is aimed at supporting working parents, helping them to juggle the demands of a young family and a job by enabling them to benefit from extended free childcare through a nursery school, childminder or other early years setting.

“I would encourage parents to find out more about this excellent scheme and visit our website www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/earlyyears to find out whether they are eligible.”

Northamptonshire has received a £929,000 share of the Education Funding Agency’s £50m fund, which aims to help local authorities create additional childcare places in order to meet demand as a result of the extended 30 hours funded childcare scheme.

30 hours per week

All three and four-year-olds can currently receive 570 hours of funded childcare per year. From September, eligible children will be able to access an additional 570 hours, which equates to 30 hours a week during term time.

Further information is available at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/earlyyears.