30 hours free childcare available from September 2017. Eligible parents of 3 & 4 year olds will be entitled to claim additional childcare funding from the government. *This is highlighted in the media as 30 hours free childcare, this is in fact only over 38 weeks. For settings that operate over longer weeks, as we do, this equates to just over 22 hours per week. If you want to find out more about claiming 30 hours with other government childcare benefits then click here
Eligibility rules for 30 hours free childcare
- Your child must be 3 or 4 years old
- Both parents must be working – or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family
- Each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalents to 16 hours at the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage for their age
- Each parent must have an annual income of less than £100,000
- You must live in England
- Whilst the scheme is for working parents, you might still be eligible if one of you is an official carer. You might still be eligible if you are receiving disability benefits and the other one is working. There may also be other eligibility criteria announced.
- If you have a Zero hours contract and earn the equivalent of 16 hours at your minimum wage then you are eligible.
- If you are self-employed and earn the equivalent of 16 hours at your minimum wage then you are eligible.
More information on 30 hours free childcare can be found here.
How do I apply for my 30 hours free childcare
If you think you are eligible for 30 hours free childcare then you need to check your eligibility with HMRC. It is the same application process as for the Tax free Childcare Accounts, although you do not have to have those as well if it does not suit you financially, so just tick the boxes that you wish to use. You can find out more about what is best for your family via the government website www.childcarechoices.co.uk. Once you have received your 30 hour eligibility code then you need to bring it along to get it verified. You cannot access your childcare until we have had the code verified. The process can take 2-3 weeks so do this at least a month before the start of the term.
30 hours free childcare – our choices for parents
We have consulted with our parents over which are the most suitable hours for us to provide the free hours and have constructed our Nursery Fees and Sessions around this for each individual nursery. We offer a limited number of places on a NIL COST basis and this is all detailed in our Admissions & Waiting List Policy. If you are unsure about anything then please just come along and ask
What if I lose my job?If you lose you job and don’t obtain another they you will become ineligible for the additional 15 hours funding. However, there will be a short ‘grace period’ in the 30 hours free childcare, which will take you to the end of any term. This allows parents time to find a new job and still use their eligible hours whilst doing so. If they are unsuccessful then their entitlement will revert to the universal 15 hours free childcare.