Parents hoping to benefit from free childcare spaces for three and four-year-olds have until January 17 to register.

Nurseries and pre-schools across Oxfordshire have places set aside which need to be taken before that date, otherwise the entitlement is reduced.

One nursery chain, the Old Station Nursery, has 22 spare slots for children, who are entitled to 15 hours per week.

There are two slots at the Filkins nursery, four in Faringdon and eight each at Benson and Henley.

Sarah Steel, managing director at the nursery group, said: “All three and four-year- olds are eligible for a free space for the term which will begin after their third birthday, but many of our settings have several spaces reserved for this which are going unused.

“It would be a real shame if parents miss out on this vital opportunity.”