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Free care for children aged 2

Monday July 27th 2015

By August 2015, the Scottish Government estimates 27% of families with two-year-olds will be entitled to the nursery and childcare places.

Councillor Bob Constable, the cabinet member for education, said: “We’d urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible for the 16 hours a week of free early learning and childcare to get in touch with us as quickly as possible as we want all those who qualify to take advantage of this legislation.

A place may be available for your 2- year-old if you are not working, or if you become out of work, and if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Income support
  • Jobseeker’s allowance (income based)
  • Employment and support allowance (income based)
  • Incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit and your income is less than £16,105* per year
  • Maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and your income is less than £6,420* per year
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit

Last year, when the legislation was introduced nationally, the council bought 48 appropriate places to accommodate eligible families with its partner agency, Midlothian Sure Start. This year we have 110 places at Sure Start centres as well as places also available at other partnership nurseries.
The 600 hours of free childcare and nursery places are already offered to all three and four year olds in Scotland.

Councillor Bob Constable added: “Early quality nursery and childcare can make a huge difference to how a child develops and progresses. Studies show getting it right for every child right from birth gives them a much stronger chance of going on to a positive destination such as further education or a job when they leave school.

“Taking up the opportunity for free, high quality early learning and childcare also means mums, dads and carers have more time to pursue an interest, study or take on a job.”

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