Show me the money How nursery funding works
A Guide To Childcare
If you’re a parent in England getting ready to go back to work after the summer break, you might be wondering how you can get help with childcare costs. That’s where nursery funding comes in. This article is here to help make things easy to understand. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about how nursery funding works – from who can get it, to how to apply. By the end, you’ll have a clear picture of how you can get the support you need to take care of your child while you’re at work 15 HOURS free childcare Currently, all parents and carers of three and four-year-old children are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare for 38 weeks (during school term time). Parents may also be able to get free childcare for 52 weeks if they use less than 15 hours a week, though this will be dependent on whether their childcare provider offers this. An eligible child can start in their childcare place the term after they turn three years old. Term start dates are 1 September, 1 January and 1 April. It is important to note that the 15 free hours of childcare is not intended to cover the cost of meals, other consumables (like nappies and sunscreen), additional hours or additional activities like trips. Childcare providers may charge a fee for these additions. However, you must not be required to pay any fee as a condition of taking up a 15-hour place and must be offered alternative options Some parents of two-year-old children may also be entitled to 15 hours support if they are receiving some forms of support, like child tax credit, income support, working tax credit etc. For the full eligibility criteria, please visit: www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/free-childcare-2-year-olds. 30 HOURS free childcare For parents who are employed and have three or four-year-old children, they have the right to access 30 hours of free childcare over 38 weeks, which corresponds to the school term time. This benefit is applicable if both partners individually earn less than £100,000. Additionally, each partner must anticipate earning an average of at least £167 per week, which is equivalent to 16 hours at the national minimum or living wage. Eligible children can commence their childcare placement in the term following their third birthday or upon receipt of a valid 30-hour code, whichever transpires later – these terms being 1 September, 1 January, or 1 April. Parents might have the option to distribute their childcare hours throughout 52 weeks if they utilise less than 30 hours weekly. The cumulative allowance of 1,140 hours annually can be employed flexibly, encompassing one or multiple childcare providers To maintain their entitlement to the 30 hours of free childcare, parents must ensure that their details are up to date every three months. Eligible parents can presently utilise this free childcare option at the following participating establishments: • Full day care (e.g., nurseries) • Schools • Childminders • Sessional providers (e.g., playgroups) • Sure Start Children’s Centres • After school clubs Again, the 30 hours of free childcare is not intended to cover meals, other consumables, additional hours or additional activities. What changes are on the horizon? In the 2023 Spring Budget, chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced an extension of free childcare. Once implemented, this will mean (on top of the existing offers): • From April 2024, eligible working parents will get 15 free hours of childcare for two-year-olds. • From September 2024, eligible parents will get 15 free hours from nine months until their children start school. • From September 2025, 30 free hours of childcare will be available from nine months until the start of school.