Parents praise free childcare scheme in Doncaster

The Hobdens (front from left) Dylan and Joseph, (back) Ben and Alicia.
The Hobdens (front from left) Dylan and Joseph, (back) Ben and Alicia.
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Joseph is enjoying every minute of his time at nursery.

He benefits from the free childcare provision available for some two-year-olds which allows him to attend nursery.

Now his parents are urging others to take advantage of the government-funded scheme which provides up to 15 hours of free childcare a week for families with household incomes of less than £16,190.

Alicia Hobden (22), of Bentley, said: “Joseph absolutely loves nursery, I was nervous about leaving him there during the first week as he was upset but everyone there is brilliant and now he loves going to nursery.

“He has made so many friends and it has changed him a lot - he used to be shy but now he chats away.”

Ben Hobden (23), of Bentley, said: “Bentley Children’s Centre are always here to help us and they gave us straight forward advice about the funding

“He is learning a lot and doing so much at nursery, from baking to painting.

“I would recommend it to people who have not even thought about it before - they do not know what they are missing out on. It is seriously the best thing anyone can do for their kids.”

Eleanor Brazil, Director Learning and Opportunities: Children and Young People, said: “We want to ensure more parents and carers are aware of this initiative which entitles eligible families to claim up to 15 hours free childcare a week.

“If you have a two-year-old and your household income is less than £16,190 or you meet one of the other criteria then you may also be entitled to take up the funding.”

The free childcare will be made available in a nursery or pre-school setting or with a childminder.

Parents can claim a free place for their child if they are in receipt of one or more of the following:

• Income Support

• Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance

• Income Related Employment and Support Allowance

• Child Tax Credit (Provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)

• Universal Credit

• Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit

• Support under Par VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

• Working Tax Credits and earn no more than £16,190 a year

• The child has a current statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan

• The family is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for the child

• The child has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order

For further information visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/earlyyears contact Doncaster Families Information Service on 0800 138 4568 (or 01302 862132 / 862136) or speak to a health visitor, children’s centre, childcare provider or school.