Article thumbnail: EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 29 File photo dated 24/01/2016 of a preschool age child playing with plastic building blocks. Working parents of toddlers are being encouraged to register to access 15 hours of free childcare per week in the new year. Issue date: Wednesday November 29, 2023. PA Photo. Applications open on January 2 for the first wave of the rollout of reforms expanding the amount of free childcare, the Department for Education said. A childminder start-up grant - ?600 for those who register with Ofsted and ?1,200 for those who register with a childminder agency - will also launch on Thursday. See PA story POLITICS Childcare. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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