From September 2017, working parents will be able to access up to 30 hours of free childcare and early learning during term time.
Currently all three year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare from the term after their third birthday. The new entitlement will allow parents to claim an additional 15 hours; they need to work the equivalent of 16 hours per week at least at the national minimum or living wage, which would make individual earnings between approximately £5,000 and £99,999.99 per person. (Full criteria below)
This new entitlement means 30 hours per week during term time or dependant on their provider, up to 1,140 hours ‘stretched’ over 52 weeks (fewer hours over more weeks).
As with the current 15 hour entitlement, the additional hours will be available to children from the term after their third birthday. Those who aren’t entitled will carry on receiving their current 15 hour provision.
Parents will be able to apply for the additional entitlement through a parent portal on the HMRC website before having their eligibility confirmed and verified through the council. Parents will then need to revisit the parent portal every three months to verify their eligibility for the 30 hours hasn’t changed.
These additional 15 hours can be taken flexibly between the hours of 6am to 8pm and split over two providers in any one day, Monday to Sunday, to a maximum of 10 hours per day.
It’s important to note childcare providers may not be able to and do not have to, provide the full 30 hours entitlement within their setting.