All children are eligible to receive 15 hours of free funding from the term after their 3rd birthday, for the 38 weeks of the academic year that we are open. The terms start on 1st September, 1st January and 1st April. You do not need to do anything to claim this funding as we will do this on your behalf. The chart below confirms when you will be eligible for the free 15 hours funding.
|When your child turns 3||When they can get 15 hours from|
|1st September to 31st December||1st January|
|1st January to 31st March||1st April|
|1st April to 31st August||1st September|
However for eligible working parents this funding can be increased to 30 hours. You can watch this handy video which explains how to apply and what information you will need to have to make your application.
To qualify for the additional 15 hours of free childcare each parent must be earning more than the equivalent of 16 hours at the national living wage or minimum wage per week: for example, over the next three months you expect to earn at least £1,853.28 – the National Living Wage if you are 23 or older.
You can apply for your 30 hours funding half a term before your eligibility starts and it is recommended to apply early and not leave your application until the final days. If you fail to apply for the funding by the deadline you will not be eligible to claim the funding until the next term.
|When your child turns 3||When they can get 30 hours from||Recommended time to apply|
|1st September to 31st December||1st January||15th October to 30th November|
|1st January to 31st March||1st April||15th January to 28th February|
|1st April to 31st August||1st September||15th June to 31th July|
Applications for the 30 hours funding can be made at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
Parents must reconfirm their eligibility every 3 months but you will receive reminders in the weeks before your eligibility expires. If you fail to reconfirm your eligibility before your code expires or if your employment status changes and you are no longer eligible to receive the 30 hours funding you will enter the “grace period” rather than your eligibility ceasing with immediate effect. Please be aware that under the scheme rules we cannot offer a funded place to a new child who is within their grace period.
|Date parent’s 30 hours eligibility code becomes invalid||Grace Period end date:|
|1 Jan – 10 Feb||31st March|
|11 Feb – 31 March||31st August|
|1 April – 26 May||31st August|
|27 May – 31 August||31 December|
|1 September – 21 October||31 December|
|22 October – 31 December||31 March|
If you pay for some or all of your childcare costs you may wish to consider opening a tax-free childcare account. Unlike the previous schemes where parents would save directly from their earnings, this new scheme allows parents to create an account and pay in any amount they chose, as and when they chose, as well as allowing other family members to contribute. For every £8.00 you pay in, the government will pay in an extra £2.00 which is the equivalent of the tax that most people pay (20%). The maximum contribution from the government is £2000 per year or £4000 for disabled children. Parents then allocate their savings to their nominated Ofsted registered setting.
Unlike the previous employer childcare voucher schemes you can withdraw your contributions at any time but the government will also withdraw their contributions.
To be eligible for the Tax-free childcare scheme both parents must be in paid employment earning £131 per week (the equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum wage as at June 2019) but less than £100,000 per year.
The earlier video shows you how to apply for this scheme.