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10 March 2015, 09:43
Milton Keynes parents can now check more easily if they are entitled to free childcare.
The system, which can be found at www.timefortwos.com, has been praised by the Department for Education as the first of its kind in the country.
Parents simply have to enter their details, including their national insurance number, to find out immediately if they qualify.
The system generates an email and a letter that parents can print off and take to a local childminder, nursery or preschool that is part of the Time for Twos scheme to take up their place.
The positive step aims to further help parents and carers to access Time for Twos funding, which enables eligible two year olds to access up to 15 hours a week in a nursery, preschool or with a childminder.
It follows the recent news that Milton Keynes has been named one of the top council's in the eastern region for its success in placing two year olds into childcare and early education.
A two year old will be eligible if they meet any one of the following criteria:
" Their family meet the eligibility criteria also used for Free School Meals
" Their family receive Working Tax Credits and have annual gross earnings of no more than £16,190 per year
" They have a current Statement of Special Educational Need (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan
" They attract Disability Living Allowance
" They are looked after by a Local Authority or have left care through Special Guardianship, Adoption, Residence Order or Child Arrangement Order
" They are living in England where the child has no recourse to public funds
Children can use the funding for up to 15 hours per week, to a maximum of 570 hours per academic year (38 weeks). Some childcare providers stretch the entitlement over the whole calendar year at up to 11 hours per week.