Changes in Funding for 3 - 4 Year Old's.

From September 2017, free childcare for 3-4 year olds doubled from 15 to 30 hours per week for families living in England. This means working parents will have a total of 1,140 hours of free childcare to use flexibly over the course of the year.

Do I qualify for Funding?

In order to be able to claim 30 hours free childcare you must meet ALL of the following:

  • You live in England.

  • Your child is either 3 or 4 years old.

  • 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


If you don't meet all these criteria, the good news is that you'll still qualify for the 15 hours free childcare that is currently available. 

Do you get 30 hours every week all year round?

No. The 30 hours is based on a school term-time schedule, rather than a working parent schedule.

So, the offer is for 30 hours free per week for 38 weeks per year - not 52 weeks of the year.

As Keepers Cottage is a 52 Weeks a year setting we spread the total hours out across the 52 weeks of the year rather than just 38 Weeks. Doing this means the total available free hours comes to 1,140 free hours across the year - or approximately 22 free hours per week across 52 weeks

How do I apply for Free Childcare Funding?

  • Visit the registration page on Gov.UK website.

  • Complete the registration process.

  • If you're eligible, you'll receive a code.

  • Then bring your code to us, along with your National Insurance number and your child’s date of birth.

  • We will then check the code is authentic & allocate your child a free childcare place, if one is available.

When can I start claiming Funding?

As of the age of 3 years old you will be able to start a funded nursery place in either the September, January or April depending on when their third birthday falls in the year.

Your child’s birthday must be before:

  • 31 March: will be eligible for funded nursery education from the Summer Term (April).

  • 31 August: will be eligible for funded nursery education from the Autumn Term (September).

  • 31 December: will be eligible for funded nursery education from the Spring term (January).

These are the cut off dates. If your child’s birthday is for example on the 1st or 2nd January and the term starts on the 5th January, unfortunately their funding will not start until the Summer term after Easter because they have passed the cut-off date of 31st December.

Do all my funded hours have to be used in one setting?

No, you are entitled to split your funded hours across two different childcare providers.

However, you cannot use funded hours across more than two sites in one day but it is important to bear in mind the impact of multiple providers on a child’s learning, development and wellbeing. If you are splitting your offer between providers, you will need to provide your eligibility code and information to each provider.

Is my 2 Year entitled to Funding?

Depending on income levels, some 2 year olds in England could be entitled to 15 hours free childcare a week in term time – this is 570 hours a year.

In order to get claim, you must be getting one of the following:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act

  • Child Tax Credit and/or Working Tax Credit and have an annual income under £16,190

  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (Payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

  • Universal Credit

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