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30 Hours Free Childcare

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From September 2017, all children whose parent(s) meet the criteria will be entitled to an additional 570 hours of free childcare per year from the term after their third birthday until they enter full-time school. This means that many families will be able to claim 1,140 hours of free childcare per year. Each child will get 30 hours of free childcare per week if you choose to take it during school term time, or 22.8 hours per week if you ‘stretch’ your entitlement across 50 weeks of the year.

Most working families will be eligible for the additional free entitlement from September 2017. We predict that demand will outstrip supply so check out whether you are eligible now.

What is the free entitlement? What do you pay for? 

You could get the free hours if:

  • All parents in the house each earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours at the minimum wage currently £107 per week
  • If neither parent in your household earns over £100,000 per annum
  • One parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated, based on receipt of specific benefits
  • One parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities, based on specific benefits received for caring
  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave
  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay.

You might want to find out whether your chosen provider will be offering the additional funded hours or which providers do. Some providers are not open for 30 hours, and some others may decide to offer limited numbers of 30 hour places because the funding rate they receive might be significantly lower than that needed to support their business. It will be possible to split the 30 hours across more than one provider; for example a nursery and a childminder, or two nurseries. Some maintained schools such as nursery schools and nursery classes are offering 30 hours.

Regardless of whether you are accessing your 15 hours or up to 30 hours you do not have to pay for anything else unless you choose to. The only charge can be a deposit that must be returned when you leave, no deposit can be charged for funded 2 year olds. You can only be invoiced for any additional hours and added extras that you have agreed to.

To check your eligibility and get your access code go to https://childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk/par/app/applynow

You can find out about the different forms of Government support available to you and decide what is best for your family on the Childcare Choices website launched earlier this year.

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