Thousands of parents to start receiving extra free childcare from TODAY

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Extra free childcare for working parents

Thousands more parents in the UK can now access additional free childcare starting today. Working parents of two-year-olds are eligible to receive 15 hours of free childcare per week. Individuals who earn more than £8,670 but less than £100,000 adjusted net income a year are considered working parents.

Application process and deadlines

The expansion of free childcare was announced in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Spring Statement last year. Parents who qualify for the free childcare boost can apply starting from January 2. However, the deadline to apply for the extra childcare for the summer school term was March 31. Those who miss this deadline can still apply for the next academic year if their child will be two or older by August 31.

Future plans for free childcare

The government plans to further extend free childcare to working parents of nine-month-olds to two-year-olds starting from September. By September 2025, all eligible working parents of children aged nine months up to three years will have access to 30 hours of free childcare weekly.

How to apply for free childcare

Parents can apply for 15 or 30 hours of free childcare through their local council or childcare provider. Eligibility must be reconfirmed every three months. There are also tax breaks and grants available to assist with childcare costs, which can be explored through the government's childcare costs calculator.

Other childcare assistance options

Various benefits and schemes exist to support childcare costs, including tax-free childcare and child benefit. Parents should check their eligibility for these programs based on their income and circumstances.

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