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child painting at nursery

More nursery places for Knowsley

by Gemma Melling

More childcare places are to be created in nurseries in Knowsley as the number of hours some children are entitled to increases.

Knowsley Council has secured more than £400,000 to create the extra nursery places, as the borough looks ahead to September, when eligible three years olds living in the borough will be entitled to up to 30 hours of free childcare a week when taken during term time only, or can take less hours over a 50 week period.

The additional funding, from a successful capital bid to the Department for Education, will allow the refurbishment of St Brigid’s School Sports and Arts Centre in Stockbridge Village, along with a new building to be constructed at Prescot Primary School.

Totalling £404,756, the funding will be used to ensure there is sufficient provision to cope with demand when the increase in hours for free childcare comes into effect.

The two projects are expected to create an additional 130 part time nursery places in the borough by September 2017.

How many free hours of childcare am I entitled to?

All three and four year olds are currently entitled to 15 hours of free childcare each week. From September 2017, working parents may be entitled to even more hours of free childcare.

If you are eligible, you can take up to 1,140 hours flexibly throughout the year, in a school, academy or with a registered childcare provider, including childminders. The hours can also be split across more than one childcare provider.

For more information based on your personal circumstances, ring the Childcare Information Service on 0151 443 5635/ 5633 or 0800 085 2022 (choosing option 1).

Picture of Cllr Joan Lilly, Knowsley Council

Cllr Joan Lilly, Knowsley Council

Cllr Joan Lilly, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “This is fantastic news that we have been able to secure Government funding and ensure we will be better equipped to maintain our excellent nursery and pre-school provision across the borough in modern and purpose built facilities.”

What happens next?

The refurbishment of St Brigid’s School Sports and Arts Centre and the proposed new building in Prescot are both subject to the usual planning approvals.

The supporting planning documents will now be prepared and are expected to be presented to the council’s Planning Committee in early spring.

Quality childcare on offer

All Knowsley’s private and voluntary full daycare nurseries are rated Outstanding or Good by Ofsted – and we are one of only four areas in the whole country to achieve this accolade!