LOW-income families are being offered free childcare for two-year-olds by Hillingdon Council.

The Early Learning Programme aims to provide eligible children with 570 hours of free education a year (normally taken as 15 hours a week for up to 38 weeks).

The scheme is available to Hillingdon residents who earn less than £16,190, receive child tax credit, income support or other benefits, and is available from the term after a child's second birthday.

The money has come from substantial additional funding by the Government.

Cllr David Simmonds, cabinet member for education, said: “It’s important we support parents who wish to return to work or adult education.

“This scheme will give a real boost to low-income families in Hillingdon and ensure that children get the best possible start in life.”

For more information on how to apply, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/freechildcare