Peterborough: Free Childcare

30 May 2012, 11:38 | Updated: 30 May 2012, 12:29

Two year olds in Peterborough are going to get free childcare a year early under a government pilot programme.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the trial earlier, which will cover around 1,000 two year olds in ten areas across the country.

According to The Department For Education, the funding is aimed at the most economically disadvantaged two year olds and their families.

Families with children aged two years old living in Paston, Walton and North Bretton will get the free early education sessions from September this year.

The trial will entitle families with children who meet certain criteria to get up to 15 hours free childcare each week.

Peterborough City Council currently offers families who meet the criteria up to ten hours free childcare a week.

The trial will run from this September until March 2013, before the scheme is rolled out across the country in September 2013.

Peterborough City Council is getting up to £253,000 funding to put towards the trial.

Councillor John Holdich, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and University, said: "I am delighted that Peterborough has been selected to participate in this trial.

This scheme will target some of our most vulnerable children and families and will provide additional free early education places for two-year-olds. 

Many families who live in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Peterborough already benefit from funding for early education places.

However, this trial will allow us to offer the free places to every eligible two-year-old child in Paston, Walton and North Bretton. 

This is a much needed development to support families and I will look forward to seeing the positive impact of this project."

Peterborough City Council estimates that around 130 two year olds will be able to benefit from the free sessions during the trial period.

Guidelines from Peterborough City Council:

To be eligible families will need to be in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income Support 
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance 
  • Income related Employment & Support Allowance 
  • Support under part V1 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 
  • The 'Guarantee' element of State Pension Credit 
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190. 
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit. 

Funding will also be offered to the following children:

  • Gypsy and traveller children
  • Looked after children
  • Children with a child protection plan.