Working families on a low income are among those being encouraged to take advantage of free childcare by Derbyshire County Council.
Households with an income of less than £16,190 a year which are in receipt of Working Tax and or Credits qualify for up to 15 hours care a week for their two-year-old.
Other families who claim Income Support, Job seekers’ Allowance, have adopted children or receive Disability Living Allowance are also eligible for the funding.
The hours can be flexible and used in nurseries, pre-schools or with childminders.
Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Kevin Gillott, said he hoped a new online form and text service would encourage more families to apply. He said: “All children and families are unique but good quality childcare in the early years can really help most families.
“It gives children new experiences and helps them to learn to play with other children.
“It can also free up time for mums or dads to do other things, such as get back into work or do training.
“And for working families on low pay, it can help reduce childcare bills.”
All families in Derbyshire qualify for free childcare when their chlid reaches the age of three, regardless of income.
People can find out if they are entitled to free childcare for their two-year-old by going to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/freechildcare; texting the word ‘child’ to 86555 or calling 01629 539316/7 during office hours.