To enable all children to reach their full potential, the government fund up to 15 hours free early learning a week for some 2 year olds and all 3-4 year olds.
From September 2017 an additional funding of 15 hours will be given to 3-4 year olds whose families are eligible for this extended provision, so children aged 3-4 can receive 30 hours funding each week.
So are you eligible for the additional childcare funding in Telford? Below is a a summary that is sure to help:
Simply, many working parents of 3 to 4-year-olds in England will be eligible for 30 hours of free childcare - rather than the current 15 hours.
But the first thing you need to know is that this is 30 hours free for only 38 weeks per year - not 52 weeks of the year. It's basically equivalent to school term times. In theory, you may be able to spread the free childcare out over further weeks, but this will mean you'll get fewer than 30 hours free childcare each week.
The Government has been rolling out a pilot scheme in 8 English areas: Wigan, Staffordshire, Swindon, Portsmouth, Northumberland, York, Newham and Hertfordshire. The scheme is scheduled to go nationwide from September 2017.
All children will still receive the 15 hours free childcare that is currently available.
Eligibility rules for 30 hours free childcare:
It depends on your age. For this scheme, the minimum amount will always reflect the lowest hourly rate that a person of your age can legally be paid. Therefore, currently for a parent aged 21-24, you'd need to earn a weekly average of at least £111.20. For a parent aged 25+, you'd need to earn a weekly average of at least £115.20.
This is basically a scheme to help working parents, so families where one parent doesn't work, or both parents don't work, will usually not be eligible for these additional 15 hours.
However, if one parent isn't working because they're an official carer (eg receiving benefits relating to being a carer) or they are receiving disability benefits, and the other parent is working, then the Government has stated it "intends to make provision" to support these families.
There is also additional entitlement if the parent normally works but is temporarily away from the workplace, for example on statutory sick pay.
You will be eligible if you (or both of you in a couple) earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours at the National Minimum Wage.
There will be a short "grace period" - although this hasn't yet been defined - allowing parents to have a chance to find new employment.
You'll be able to apply for both the 30-hour scheme through a joint online application being developed by HMRC. This is because the eligibility requirements for both schemes are aligned.
Most will but it is best to speak to your nursery first. For the best nurseries in Telford as recommended by local parents contact ABC Day Nursery with nurseries throughout Telford including Hadley, Hollinswood, Hoow Farm and Lightmoor Village. Telephone 01952 427477 for more funding information.
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