30 Hours Funded Childcare
Parents of three and four year olds will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 30 hours funded childcare:
- They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.
- This equates to £120 a week (or around £6000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week (or around £5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old.
- This applies whether they are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.
- The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the funded childcare to enable them to work.
- Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.
- Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.
- Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (for example, they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
- If a non-EEA national, the parent must have recourse to public funds.
A parent will not meet the criteria when:
- Either parent has an income of more than £100,000 per year.
- Either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control (and has no recourse to public funds).
- Foster carers are not eligible for the extended entitlement for the children that they foster. They are only eligible for the extended entitlement for their own children. However, foster children are still entitled to access the universal entitlement of 15 hours of childcare.
You will receive a “grace period” – this means you will be able to keep your childcare for a short period. This is as set out in the table below:
|Date parent receives ineligible decision on reconfirmation||LA audit date||Grace period end date|
|1 January to 10 February||11 February||31 March|
|11 February to 31 March||1 April||31 August|
|1 April to 26 May||27 May||31 August|
|27 May to 31 August||1 September||31 December|
|1 September to 21 October||22 October||31 December|
|22 October to 31 December||1 January||31 March|
Once the “grace period” has lapsed, the parent may be entitled to the universal 15 hour entitlement.
To deliver 30 hours funded childcare, it is likely that there will be more children with shared care and a greater need for partnership working between settings.
The Family and Childcare Trust have developed a Mixed Model Partnership Toolkit.
If you wish to work more closely with other local childcare providers to support families in accessing flexible childcare that meets their needs, the Toolkit offers valuable advice about working in partnership. This includes information on how to set up a partnership and maximise the benefits of working together.