The Government has published the draft eligibility criteria that families will need to meet in order to be able to access the extended entitlement to 30 hours free childcare. The eligibility criteria is included in the statutory guidance and regulations that have been agreed by Parliament.
The eligibility criteria states that;
- Both parents need to be working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family);
- Each parent has a weekly minimum income equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or living wage;
- Neither parent has an income of more than £100,000 per year ;
- Parents will only be able to apply for the additional hours if they are resident in the UK, as in the case for Tax Free Childcare.
Families where one parent does not work (or neither parent works) will usually not be eligible for the additional hours. However, the draft criteria also states that the additional entitlement should be available in the following circumstances;
- Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity or paternity leave;
- Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on adoption leave;
- Both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay;
- One parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring;
- One parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.
The DfE are working with HMRC to create a joint application for the 30 hours free childcare and Tax Free Childcare (TFC). The new system will replace the current childcare voucher schemes. Parents will enter their information on-line and find out if they are eligible. The new system will be available for parents on www.Gov.uk and not through Lancashire County Council (LCC). Parents may also apply by phone to HMRC.
If a parent is eligible for the 30 hours free childcare they will receive an eligibility code from HMRC via the on-line system which they can then take to their chosen childcare provider to book a place.
Childcare providers need to validate the code with Lancashire County Council before offering an additional 15 hours free childcare.
Parents will be required to verify their continued eligibility for the 30 hours free childcare every three months directly with HMRC. If they are found to be no longer eligible the additional hours will cease at the end of a notice period. This is going to be known as the grace period. HMRC will manage the notification to parents of the need to reconfirm their eligibility for 30 hours free childcare every three months.
For more information please see:
To check your eligibility please visit:
If you think you will be eligible for this and wish to secure your place for your child at Bowerham please make sure you get in touch with us as soon as possible.
In light of all these changes we also offer a full wrap around facility for our Nursery so that parents can then use their eligibility flexibly, to the hours that suit rather than the fixed school hours.