Mums says two year old free childcare place ‘a Godsend’

Published on: Thursday, 02-July-2015

A Mum from Halewood whose daughter has recently taken up a two year old free childcare place says it’s been ‘a Godsend’.

“Once I found out my daughter was eligible for the free childcare, I completed a simple form at my local children’s centre and then the staff there began searching for a childcare place for Tilly,” said Christine.

“I was given details of a few local child care places. She didn’t take to the first one we looked at but from our first visit to the pre-school she’s at now, she loved it!”

The 32 year old single Mum has two older children. Tilly’s pre-school is based on the same site as their school so Christine can drop them all off in the morning on the same school run.  Tilly enjoying a story book at pre-school with Elaine Hough, Early Years Practitioner

“Tilly goes for three hours, five days a week and it’s a Godsend. I wasn’t sure about sending her at first because I never sent my older children at that age but she’s like a different child since she’s been going to pre-school. She used to squabble and fight with my nephews when they were together but now she’s really good at sharing and there’s no falling out as she’s so used to being with other children her own age.

“It also gives me some time to get on with cleaning, shopping or just getting something ready for tea.”

Once the council receives a completed application form from an eligible family they are sent a list of local child care options. This allows the family to select the right child care place for their child.

During term time up to 15 hours of free childcare may be accessed, or the place can be spread over 50 weeks which works out as up to 11½ hours per week.

Cllr Gary See, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said:

“Tilly is one of many two year olds in Knowsley who are eligible for a free, high quality childcare place.

“Places are provided in local childcare settings which have received either a good or outstanding Ofsted report. Like Christine the families who take up their child’s free place tell us what a difference it makes to both their little one and themselves. It gives parents some much-needed time to return to education, complete a course or simply get on top of things at home while their child has a great time with other children their own age, supported by childcare professionals.”

If your family is in receipt of any of the following benefits you may be entitled to a free place:

  • Income Support 
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit and Income of less than £16,190 (but not if you are in work and receiving Working Tax Credit)
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999

To find out more about how a place could benefit your child or to apply for a place contact your health visiting team or local children’s centre.

If you need help contacting your health visiting team or would like any further information, call the Knowsley Early Years Childcare Information Service on 0800 085 2022 (option 1) or 0151 443 5635.


Tilly enjoying a story book at pre-school with Elaine Hough, Early Years Practitioner