The new scheme means Bristol parents are eligible for double the amount of free childcare

The government is rolling out a new childcare funding scheme in September 2017 meaning Bristol parents will be eligible for double the amount of free childcare.

Families with children aged 3 and 4, as of 31st August 2017, can apply for 30 hours of free childcare per week in the scheme which is aimed at encouraging parents back to work.

Parents with a combined average income of £240 or more per week and who each earn under £100,000 are eligible if their child is three by 31st August 2017.

The Department for Education estimates 390,000 parents will meet the criteria for funding.

One Bristol nursery group which has signed up to offer the scheme at its 15 settings across the city, is Mama Bear’s, with the owners welcoming the new initiative.

Mama Bear’s owner, Tony Driffield, said: “The extended entitlement is a fantastic new policy and we’re pleased to be getting behind it to support Bristol’s workforce and help mums and dads get back to work or remain in work.

“The scheme is part-funded by the government and then suppliers must work with parents and communities to plan a policy which works for them. It is at the discretion of the individual nurseries on what they offer but we are working towards the best model possible for our parents and believe that ultimately it will also help nursery businesses by increasing demand.

“As a family-run and owned business we are really passionate about delivering flexible, affordable and manageable childcare for families and this scheme will further help us do that. 

“Universal entitlement will roll out in September but I’d encourage parents to start looking into it now as some nursery’s provisions won’t be suitable for all. There is great information on the government’s dedicated website and we will on hand to answer any queries.”  

The family-run Mama Bear’s Day Nurseries provide care for children from three months to five years. There are now 23 settings across Somerset, Bristol and Devon. The Day Nurseries are aimed at providing children with their first vital level of education to give them a head-start when they start at primary school. 

For more information on the 30-hours free childcare scheme visit

For more information on Mama Bear’s Day Nursery visit

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