30 Free Childcare Hours for Nursery Children
From September we will be offering 30 hours free child care to all families who are eligible.
The 15 hours free childcare currently available for all 3 year olds the term after their 3rd birthday will continue. However, some families will now be eligible for 30 free hours.
Who is eligible for the 30 hours of free child care?
® Both parents must be working - or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family
® Each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage
® Each parent must have an annual income of less than £100,000
To get 30 hours free childcare, you'll need to do the following:
® Apply online through the childcare service. (This system is not yet set up)
® If you're eligible, you'll receive a code – this will allow you to arrange your Nursery hours ahead of September 2017
® Bring your code to the school along with your National Insurance number and your child’s date of birth
® We will check the code is authentic and allocate your child a free childcare place
What if one parent in a couple isn't working?
® This is basically a scheme to help working parents, so families where one parent doesn't work, or both parents don't work, will usually not be eligible for these additional 15 hours.
® However, if one parent isn't working because they're an official carer (eg receiving benefits relating to being a carer) or they are receiving disability benefits, and the other parent is working, you may still be eligible
® If one parent who normally works but is temporarily away from the workplace, for example on statutory sick pay, you should still be eligible
What if you are self-employed or on a zero hours contract?
® You will be eligible if you (or both of you in a couple) earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours at the National Minimum Wage.
What if one parent loses their job?
® There will be a short "grace period" - although this hasn't yet been defined - allowing parents to have a chance to find new employment.
The 30 free hours are for only 38 weeks per year - not 52 weeks of the year. It's basically equivalent to school term times - and totals 1140 free hours across the year. In theory, you may be able to spread the free childcare out over further weeks, but this will mean you'll get fewer than 30 hours free childcare each week.
More detailed information can be found at: