Extra free childcare for Merton families

More families will benefit from extra free childcare as Merton pilots new scheme across the borough.

From September 2009, 30 schools, nurseries and preschools are offering 15 hours per week of free early learning and childcare. For 38 weeks of the year, there will be 885 places available for 3 and 4 year olds in the borough.

Nationally, all 3 and 4 year olds are able to access 12.5 hours of free, part time early learning and childcare, for at least 38 weeks a year. From 2010 this free amount of provision will increase to 15 hours per week. Parents may be able to use the hours flexibly over 3 to 5 days per week, and in more than one setting.

Merton is running a pilot scheme from September 2009 which means that certain children will benefit from these extra hours now. The pilot scheme offers the increased hours in some school nursery classes, and in some day nurseries, playgroups and out of school clubs.

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Debbie Shears said: “Merton is working hard to ensure that high quality childcare is available and accessible to families across the borough. This pilot scheme is a fantastic way of ensuring that these services are available sooner to allow children and parents to benefit as much as possible.

For more information about this scheme or help and support for childcare, please visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/early_years_fund or phone Merton’s Family Information Service on 020 8545 3800.

Press Contact:
Leoni Munslow
Communications Assistant
London Borough of Merton
020 8545 4654