From September 2017 Fledglings Nursery will be offering 30 Hours Free childcare.
30 hour FREE childcare entitlement
Many working parents of 3 to 4 year olds in England will be eligible for 30 hours of free childcare – rather than the current 15 hours from September 2017.
But the first thing you need to know is that this is 30 hours free for only 38 weeks per year – not 52 weeks of the year. It’s basically equivalent to school term times so fits in perfectly with Fledglings Nursery. Not everyone is eligible. But everyone will still receive the 15 hours free childcare that is currently available. Please note - up to 30 hrs can be used for morning or afternoon sessions or for all day care but there will be a charge for lunch club.
Eligibility rules for 30 hours free childcare:
- Your child will be aged 3 or 4 when the scheme starts in your area
- 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
- You live in England
How much is the equivalent of 16 hours at National Minimum Wage?
It depends on your age. For this scheme, the minimum amount will always reflect the lowest hourly rate that a person of your age can legally be paid. Therefore, currently for a parent aged 21-24, you’d need to earn a weekly average of at least £111.20. For a parent aged 25+, you’d need to earn a weekly average of at least £115.20.
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, then the Government has stated it “intends to make provision” to support these families.
There is also additional entitlement if the parent normally works but is temporarily away from the workplace, for example on statutory sick pay.
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.
'up to 30 hrs can be used for morning or afternoon sessions or for all day care but their will be a charge for lunch club.'
How do you apply for the 30 hours free childcare?
You’ll be able to apply for both the 30-hour scheme and the Tax-Free Childcare scheme through a joint online application being developed by HMRC. This is because the eligibility requirements for both schemes are aligned.