Free 30 hours for three and four year olds
Please note: all eligible families will need to have received their code by the 31st August 2017 in order to claim their funding from September 2017. For more information on how to apply for your code please read the information on this page then visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.
From September 2017 the government will increase the free entitlement to 30 hours per week for eligible working families. The new entitlement is intended to support working parents with the cost of childcare and enable them, where they wish, to return to work or work additional hours.
The additional 15 hours will be available to families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family), and each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage and less than £100,000 per year.
Working will include employed and self-employed persons. Parents do not necessarily need to actually work 16 hours a week, but rather their earnings must reflect at least 16 hours of work at national minimum wage or national living wage which is £107 a week at the current national minimum wage rate. This includes those parents on zero contract hours who meet the criteria.
Families where one parent does not work (or neither parent works) will usually not be eligible for these additional hours. However, the government intends to make provision to support families where one parent is in receipt of benefits relating to caring responsibilities or a disability and the other parent is working. Full details will be confirmed nearer the time but the government intends that the additional entitlement should be available in the following circumstances:
- Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity or paternity leave
- Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on adoption leave
- Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay
- One parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring
- One parent is employed and one parent is disabled of incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits
How will I know if I am entitled?
You can now check your eligibility online using the HMRC checker at Childcare Choices. The HMRC checker will provide you with an 11 digit code which can then be taken to your chosen childcare provider and used to confirm your eligibility. You can access the current list of providers offering the free entitlement funding by downloading the Directory of Early Years Providers. The provider will ask you to complete a Parent Declaration From and will then contact Sutton Family Information Service to validate your code. To do this the provider will need to tell us yours and your child's name, your child's date of birth and your national insurance number.
When you receive your 11 digit code you will also be given the validation dates and a 'grace period'. Parents are required to re apply on a regular basis (possibly every three months) to ensure you are still eligible for funding. If you become no longer eligible the 'grace period' applies. This means that you can still receive the free entitlement funding during this time. After the grace period if you choose to continue accessing the childcare you will be liable for any costs.
The Childcare Choices website also provides information on the different ways parents can access support with childcare costs including the new Tax Free Childcare Scheme.
Please see additional documents and websites for further information:
- London Borough of Sutton's Frequently Asked Questions
- Parent Declaration Form for 3 and 4 Year Olds
- Operational Guidance
- London Borough of Sutton 30 Hours Update for Providers June 2017
- London Borough of Sutton 30 Hours Update for Partners June 2017
- Childcare Bill: policy statement (December 2015)
- House of Commons Briefing Paper (June 2016)
- 30 Hours Press Release on the Gov.uk website
- 30 Hour Free Childcare Entitlement: deliver model, government response (November 2016)
- For providers: 30 Hour Mixed Model Partnership Toolkit
- www.childcareworks.co.uk - information, guidance and resources on the Free Entitlement Funding
More information will be uploaded to this site as and when it becomes available. Please check back regularly to see if any new information has been posted. In the meantime, if you wish to speak to a member of staff please contact the Sutton Family Information Service on 020 8770 6000.