Extended 30 hours childcare entitlement for three- and four-year-olds

The current funded childcare entitlement for three- and four-year-olds is being increased from 15 to 30 hours per week for working parents, from September 2017. This change is to support working parents with the affordability of childcare and enable parents who want to work, or to work more hours, to do so.

Families in North Yorkshire who meet the eligibility criteria will be entitled to 30 hours funded childcare each week in term time or 1,140 funded hours stretched across the year from the beginning of the summer term 2017. Find out more below.

Information on how to apply for the extended 30 hours childcare entitlement

Eligibility criteria

The national eligibility criteria which families need to meet are:

  • both parents must be working (or the sole parent if in a lone parent family);
  • each parent must have a weekly minimum income equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage; and
  • each parent must have an income less than £100,000 per year.

You would also fit the criteria if:

  • both parents are employed but one (or both) is temporarily away from the workplace on maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave, or on statutory sick pay;
  • one parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring; or
  • one parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.

Parent’s eligibility for the autumn term will be checked using the HMRC online application system.

To apply for your extended entitlement you will need to:

  • Access the Childcare Choices website and create an account.
  • Enter your details – if you are eligible you will then receive an 11 digit code (you may be asked for additional information at this stage before the code is issued).
  • If you are eligible, you must take this code to your early years provider or school.
  • Your provider or school will then validate this code with the council before your early education and childcare place is agreed.
  • You will also need to re-confirm your code every three months.

Dates by which you need to get your code for 2018/19 terms:

  • For the spring term – by 30 November 2018
  • For the summer term – by 27 February 2019
  • For the autumn term – by 30 June 2019

Dates by which you need to give your code to your provider or school for 2018/19 terms:

  • For the spring term – by 15 December 2018
  • For the summer term – by 23 March 2019
  • For the autumn term – by 13 July 2019

Tax-free childcare and 30 hours funded childcare

These are two separate government schemes, to help parents with the cost of childcare. You can apply for both through one online application – the childcare service.

To qualify for either scheme, parents must be working and each earning at least £120 a week (on average) and not more than £100,000 each a year.

Parents can use tax-free childcare alongside the 15 and 30 hours free childcare schemes in England, or any free childcare hours provided by the Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland governments.

Parents can’t use tax-free childcare at the same time as they receive childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits. However, 30 hours free childcare can be received alongside these schemes.

When you apply, you’ll be considered for both these services through the same application. You’ll only be asked to decide which support you want if you’re on tax credits or using a childcare voucher or salary sacrifice scheme. You should check what help you could get with childcare costs, using the childcare calculator. This will help you decide which support is best for you.

Further information on eligibility

A ‘parent’ is defined as a person who has parental responsibility or care for the child. In cases where a parent has remarried or is living with a partner, the step-parent or partner must also meet the earnings threshold.

The definition of ‘working’ includes employed persons, self-employed persons and parents on zero hours contracts who meet the above criteria.

  • All three- and four-year-old children are entitled to the universal 15 hours funding per week, regardless of a parent’s income.
  • Please check that your chosen provider can offer the 30 hour extended childcare entitlement. Being eligible does not mean that a child will be guaranteed a place.
  • Children in a maintained reception class are not eligible for the 30 hour extended childcare entitlement.
  • Foster carers are eligible for the extended entitlement if they meet the criteria set out above for their own children. Foster carers are not eligible for the extended entitlement for the children that they foster.
  • Two parent families where one parent does not work (or neither parent works), or lone parents who do not work will not be eligible for the extended entitlement.
  • Where one parent is working (and meets the income requirements) and the other is not working because they are disabled or are in receipt of benefits relating to caring responsibilities or a disability (e.g. in receipt of carer’s allowance), we will treat these households as eligible.

Accessing your childcare service account

To access your account and to view your eligibility codes for free childcare, visit the site below and sign in. You will be asked some security questions and to provide your Government Gateway ID, which you will have received when you applied. Once logged in, you can find your codes under “30 hours free childcare” or “Secure messages”.

Sign in to childcare service account

If you find it difficult to locate the 11 digit code once you have successfully applied online, see this step-by-step guide on how to find it again.

Help and support

If you have concerns about finding childcare to access your extended entitlement please contact the families information service:

Email: fis.information@northyorks.gov.uk
Telephone: 01609 533483
Mobile: Text “info” to 07624 802425