Could you benefit from 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds?

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From September 2017, eligible working parents will be able to have up to 30 hours free childcare a week for 3 and 4 year old children.

Parents of 3 and 4 year olds currently get 15 hours a week of free early learning and childcare, and this offer will increase to 30 hours for working parents.

Suffolk County Council is launching a survey to find out how working parents with young children across the county plan to use the additional childcare. The information collected will help the council and childcare providers to plan for the increase in childcare places.

Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said:

“The majority of Suffolk families already use up to 15 hours of free early learning for 3 and 4 year olds at a range of providers. Places can be taken at pre-schools, day nurseries, school nursery classes or with a childminder.

“Early learning provided by qualified early years professionals supports a child’s development and provides them with valuable opportunities to learn though play and be ready to start school.”

“It is vital that as many parents as possible take part in this survey, to give us a clear picture of how many childcare places might be needed by September 2017.”

Parents will be able to split their 30 hour place between a maximum of three Ofsted registered providers. Whilst 30 hours is the maximum entitlement, parents will be under no obligation to take up all these hours.

The survey will run for six weeks from 4 November to 16 December 2016.

You can complete the online survey at www.suffolk.gov.uk/30hours

For more information about the survey, contact the Suffolk Family Information Service on 0345 60 800 33 or email 30hoursurvey@suffolk.gov.uk