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20,000 eligibility codes have yet to be validated

By Rachel Lawler
 
Statistics released by the Department for Education (DfE) have revealed that 20,000 parents have yet to validate their eligibility code for the 30-hours ‘free childcare’ offer.
 
The DfE says that 216,384 codes were issued by 31 August but only 195,345 of these have been validated by a provider or local authority using the eligibility checking system.
 
This means that 21,039 codes have not been validated and many parents have yet to secure a 30-hours place, despite being eligible for one.
 
Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Alliance, said: “Given that childcare providers tend to have more spaces available during the autumn term, ensuring that all eligible children are able to access a 30-hours place is only going to get more difficult as the year progresses.”
 
Neil added: “We know that, as a result of the continued lack of adequate funding, many childcare providers are still limiting the number of 30-hours places they are willing to offer. If the government is to have any chance of ensuring sufficient capacity as the policy continues to roll out, it must invest what is needed into the scheme. There is no other option.”
 
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