Savings made by means-testing child benefit are being pumped into pre-school support.
The government has announced it is doubling the money it spends on pre-school credit, from nearly £500,000 to £1million, for the estimated one thousand families who will be eligible in 2014/15.
Parents of children who reach four between September 1 2014 and August 31 2015 will be eligible for £800 towards the cost of pre-school. They received £350 in 2013/14. Parents who receive certain benefits will get £1,500 towards pre-school, an increase from this year’s rate of £1,150.
Policy and Reform Minister Chris Robertshaw said: 'Means-testing child benefit to ensure those most in need of this money continue to receive it while higher earners have a commensurate reduction has enabled us to redirect a substantial sum to pre-school credit.
'Doubling the money we commit to pre-school assists parents on low incomes, who find their finances stretched to pay for places, and those who are on benefits will no doubt welcome the extra support.
'This is an example of Government redirecting funds to priority areas to make best use of the limited resources available.'
Parents are being encouraged to apply via the government website http://www.gov.im/categories/education,-training-and-careers/pre-school/ or can obtain an application form from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, Douglas, the DEC’s office at Hamilton House, Peel Road, Douglas, or by ringing 693838. Completed forms can be emailed to Pre-SchoolCredit.DEC3@doe.gov.im or posted to the Department of Education and Children, Hamilton House, Peel Road, Douglas, IM1 5EZ.
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