30 hours free childcare starts October

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.