Nottingham City Council will be going out and about in local communities in a bid to reach out to parents and spread the word that they may be eligible for free childcare.
Free early education for two year olds, known locally as the Early Learning Programme for 2 Year olds, is a statutory entitlement for all eligible children.
Since the pioneering programme first started in 2006, more than 5,000 children in Nottingham have been given access to free Early Learning places.
Workers from the council’s Families Information Service will be on hand to raise awareness of the free childcare places and to help guide potentially eligible parents to sign-up to the scheme. They will also be on hand to help families find out more information about other kinds of support which is available to them.
Next week (17 to 21 August), the Early Years Roadshow Bus will be heading out into five local communities to let families know about the free help available in Nottingham City.
As well as assisting the parents of two year olds in the city take up the offer of free childcare, staff will be on hand to talk to parents about childcare and support for three and four year olds such as joining the local library or finding out about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a scheme which provides free books to 0-5 year olds.
Also at the roadshow will be childcare providers from across the city, including representatives from local children’s centres, playgroups and nurseries.
Parents are encouraged to drop into their local roadshow, chat with the staff and other parents, and find out if their child is eligible for the free childcare scheme.
Free childcare for two year olds is a national scheme which aims to help parents get back to work and training sooner. Eligible children can get up to 15 hours a week of free childcare at Ofsted-registered childcare settings, such as day nurseries, childminders and playgroups.
Parents are then able to get back into training or work sooner, rather than having to wait until the universally-available free childcare places from the age of three.
Cllr David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Help and Early Intervention, said,
“Nottingham City Council and its partners in the Early Learning Programme, are working hard to build up enthusiasm for learning, especially in areas where early educational take-up can be lower.
“Starting childcare early can give a child a head start in life, helping them learn and develop through interaction with other children in fun, playtime activities. Parents benefit from good childcare too by being able to return to work sooner or find training.
“The week-long roadshow is our opportunity to share these messages with local parents, engage with families, get eligible children signed-up for childcare places in their area and help families get the best out of the council’s great early help services.”
The roadshow will run from 17 to 21 August and will visit the following communities:
Monday 17 August – Clifton, shopping Parade on Southchurch Drive
Tuesday 18 August – St Ann’s, St Ann’s Valley Centre
Wednesday 19 August – Top Valley, shopping area, junction of Bestwood Park Drive West and Brownlow Drive
Thursday 20 August Broxtowe, outside SPAR shop on roundabout with Strelley Road and Broxtowe Lane
Friday 21 August Bulwell, upper market place
For more information about the Nottingham City Council Early Learning Programme for 2 Year olds visit http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/earlyyears/index.aspx?articleid=20722