From October there will be up to 30 hrs free childcare available to working parents of 3 and 4 year olds (up from 15 hrs).
This could make a big difference to many, helping people work and access to housing.
Will I qualify for 30 hours free childcare?
Parents of three and four year olds will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 30 hours free childcare:
- They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wageover the coming three months.
- This equates to £120 a week (or c.£6,000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or£112.80 a week (or c.£5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old.
- This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.
- The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare toenable them to work.
- Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, orif they are on statutory sick leave.
- Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because theyare disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capabilityto work.
- Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (i.e. they are newly self-employed) they do not needto demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
- If a non-EEA national, the parent must have recourse to public funds.
Who will not qualify?
A parent will not meet the criteria when:
- Either parent has an income of more than £100,000
- Either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control (and has no recourseto public funds)
What happens if a parent loses eligibility?
- They will receive a “grace period” – this means they will be able to keep their childcare for ashort period.
- Once the “grace period” has lapsed, the parent may be entitled to the universal 15 hourentitlement.