Rosedene Nurseries, a childcare provider which operates across Tees Valley and North Yorkshire, is reminding parents with children aged two, three and four years old that funded childcare places are still available for the new term in January.

The childcare provider, which has recently been shortlisted for three national nursery awards including the 2020 Nursery Group of the Year, is hoping to raise awareness particularly for parents who have been impacted financially by the second lockdown, and who may not be aware that funded places are available to them.

Funded early education is available to most families, subject to meeting eligibility criteria and new funding codes for two-year olds were introduced in September.

The latest Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents in England released by the Department for Education (DfE) found that in 2019, children in the most deprived areas were 17 per cent less likely to take up childcare places than in the least deprived areas. With more families being financially impacted by the restrictions introduced due to COVID restrictions, the childcare provider fears these figures may increase.

Rosedene is also reminding families that are currently entitled to funded care which began last January to renew their placement codes with their local authority to ensure that that they remain eligible for three and four-year care for the coming year.

It warns that childcare places are severely limited due to new safe operating procedures in place to minimise the risks of COVID 19 transmission and given that many independent nurseries across the sector have been forced to close due to the impact of the pandemic. Parents must sign up by 30 November to be eligible for January places.

Alice McCullagh, director at Rosedene, said: “A lot of families are finding themselves leaving 2020 in a very different financial position from how they started, and as such, might not know what funded childcare is available to them. This year has been difficult for everyone, and it is increasingly important that children are impacted as little as possible.

“The Rosedene team is working incredibly hard to ensure that all of our sites can operate within the government’s health and safety guidelines while still providing the essential socialisation and education required by children aged four and under, together with breakfast and afterschool clubs for older children.

“We are aware that many families in the region don’t take up their entitlement to free early years education, or don’t realise that they must renew codes, leaving them disappointed when nursery places are unavailable. We would encourage anyone who has a child of nursery age to make sure that they are fully up to date with what support is available to them.

“We’re very optimistic about 2021 and we’re looking forward to welcoming both new and returning children in the new year.”

For more information, contact booking@rosedenenurseries.co.uk.