On this page you will find information about the free entitlement to early years education for children aged three to four in Northumberland and eligible two-year-olds.
All three and four-year-olds are entitled to free high-quality early education, starting in the term after a child’s third birthday until compulsory school age.
The current free entitlement is 15 hours a week (570 hours a year) for 38 weeks of the year. Starting September 2017, eligible families will be able to claim an additional 15 hours free childcare per week, taking their entitlement to 30 hours free childcare a week for 38 weeks of the year (1140 hours a year).
Parents/carers of two-year-olds who meet a range of criteria are entitled to the same amount of free high-quality early years education or childcare, from the term after a child’s second birthday until the end of the term in which they are three.
Interested? Click here to download and read our printable guide, which covers both schemes for parents.
Got questions? Contact us direct via freephone: 0800 023 4440 or read on to find out more.
Extended Entitlement - 30 Hours Free Childcare
All 3 and 4 year olds are already entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week and the Government is committed to providing 30 hours to 3 and 4 year olds from eligible working families from September 2017.
You will be aware that Northumberland is part of a 30 hour childcare pilot from September 2016. This is designed to allow the Department of Education (DfE) to test the delivery of the additional 15 hours in preparation for full roll out September 2017. We are extremely proud and excited to have been awarded this and look forward to working in partnership with parents and childcare providers to develop an informative pilot. Unfortunately the funding for the pilot only covers about 25% of eligible families in Northumberland. As the plans progress we will contact parents directly if their area is offering the pilot from September 2016.
The main themes we have been asked to consider for the pilot are rurality and flexibility of childcare. Our trial will provide some rural eligible working families with an additional 15 hours child care per week, 38 weeks of the year, totalling an additional 570 hours a year from September 2016.
To ensure ability to test the main theme of rurality and to establish a fair and robust selection process for a targeted amount of parents, the application process for the program was developed to follow a phased approach with the most rural addresses in Northumberland invited to apply first. Enabling management of the size of the eligible cohort and childcare providers expectations as well as whilst maximizing the use of funding available by offering as many eligible parents as possible a place from September 2016.
Eligibility for a place from September 2016 has been determined by two factors:
- National criteria: Families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone-parent family), and each parent earns the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum or living wage, and earns less than £100,000 a year. For further guidance see page 8 of the following document: https://goo.gl/0rzJkU
- Rural classification: Families with specific Northumberland addresses linked to national data based on rural-urban classification and geographical barriers.
In order to maintain stability in the childcare market and meet the flexibility needs of working rural parents, as well as the needs of the child, parents should be able take up their eligibility at any provision they can access that is willing to deliver the free hours.
If you require support please don’t hesitate to contact Northumberland Families Information Service on 0800 023 4440 or 01670 623563.
Early Years Pupil Premium
The Early Years Pupil Premium
Extra funding for your Early Years provider to further enhance the early years provision for your child –supporting their development, learning and care
From April 2015, nurseries, schools, childminders and other childcare providers have been able to claim extra funding through the Early Years Pupil Premium to support children’s development, learning and care.
The Early Years Pupil Premium provides an extra 53 pence per hour for three and four year old children whose parents are eligible. This means an extra £302 a year for each child taking up the full 570 hours funded entitlement to early education. This additional money could make a significant difference to childcare providers.
The extra funding can be used in any way a childcare provider chooses to improve the quality of the early years education provided. This could include for example:
- additional training for our staff on early language
- investing in partnership working with colleagues in the area to further expertise
- supporting staff in working on specialised areas such as speech and language.
It is well documented that high quality early education can influence how well a child does at both primary and secondary school so childcare providers want to make the most of this additional funding. You may be aware if you have older children that a pupil premium has been available for school age children and it has proved to have given a real boost to the children receiving the funding. Childcare providers want to do the same for early years children entitled to this funding.
Is my child eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium?
Your child may be eligible for the EYPP if you receive any of these benefits:
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment & Support Allowance
• Universal Credit
• Support from NASS (National Asylum Support Service) under part 6 of
the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
• The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
• Child Tax Credit (provided that you are not also entitled to Working Tax
Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190*)
• Working Tax Credit run-on
*current figure at the time of printing.
Early Years providers may also be able to get extra funding if your child:
• Has been looked after by the local authority for at least one day
• Has been adopted from care
• Has left care through a special guardianship
If you have any questions, please speak to your childcare provider.
If you have any questions please speak to your childcare provider. Any information you share will be completely confidential. This will not affect any benefits you receive.
30 Hours Free Childcare and Tax Free Childcare 2017
**Apply here for 30 hours in September 2017**
If you experience any problems with the application process please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the helpline 0300 123 4097
What is the extra funding for?
The extra funding is to:
support working parents to manage the cost of childcare
support parents into work
allow parents to increase their hours, should they wish to
How will parents access this funding?
Parents will be able to access the funding through early years providers. This includes:
How will parents apply for a 30 hour place place for september 2017?
Parents will be able to apply for both Tax-Free Childcare and the 30 hours’ free childcare through the Childcare Service being developed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This joint online application system will provide a simple and straightforward way for working parents to access the schemes and will avoid the need to provide the same information twice. This system is currently being developed and trialled by HMRC and DfE. We will provide more details in due course, it is expected that the application system will be launched in late Spring 2017.
What is Tax Free Childcare?
As part of the Governments childcare reforms, from early 2017 working parents with children under 12 (under 17 for disabled children) can set up an online childcare account to pay their childcare providers directly. For every £8 parents pay in, the Government will add £2, up to a maximum contribution of £2,000 per child, per year (£4,000 per year for disabled children).To qualify, parents must be in work and each expecting to earn at least £115 a week and not more than £100,000 per year. Tax-Free Childcare will be delivered by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Eligibility Criteria - 30 hours free childcare
The extended free childcare entitlement will be available to parents/carers of three- and four-year-olds in from September 2017 where:
Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave or statutory sick pay, or
One parent is employed & the other parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring, or
One parent is employed & one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.
You do not need to work 16 hours per week, but your earnings must equal at least 16 hours work at minimum wage / national living wage. This equates to a minimum income requirement for a parent/carer over the age of 25 of £115.20 a week, or for 21-24 year olds of £107.20 a week.
A parent/carer will be eligible if they expect (on average) to earn this amount over the coming three months:
For example, for a parent/carer who is on a zero-hours contract, they will qualify if on average they work two weeks out of every three, and when they are working they get 25 hours of work at the minimum wage.
‘Parent’ means a person who has parental responsibility 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 earning threshold.
Foster carers are only eligible for the extended entitlement for their own children (if they meet the criteria); they are not eligible for children that they foster.
Flexibility - How you can take up the extended entitlement
If you are eligible for the extended entitlement, you can take up to 1140 hours free childcare across the year. This can be taken term time only or ‘stretched’ across the year, as follows:
Not all providers may be able to offer the stretched offer, the full 30 hours per week or the particular pattern of provision that you require however, you can split your entitlement across more than one provider.
You will be able to access your free childcare:
between 6am and 8pm
up to a maximum of 10 free hours per day, 30 hours per week
across a maximum of 2 providers in a day and 3 providers annually
Tax Free Childcare Information
The new Childcare Choices website provides information on the new and existing Government childcare offers:www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.
Podcast - 30 hour free childcare pilot scheme
Members of Northumberland County Council’s Early Years Team got together recently with partners and service users to discuss the 30-hour free childcare pilot and what it means to their role, families and businesses.
The discussion - which focussed on experiences so far, lessons learnt and what the extended entitlement means to their role - was recorded as a podcast, as part of the County Council’s commitment to feedback on progress in order to support others to be ready for the national roll-out of the scheme in 2017.
Taking part in the discussion was:
Eve Sinclair - Early Years Sustainability Officer
Katie Watson - Early Years Adviser
Carol - A Grandmother of a child using 30 hour provision
Emma Ptts - Head Teacher of Prudhoe Adderlane First School
Di Richardson - Owner of Diandjims Nursery in Prudhoe and Hexham
To listen to the full discussion, please click here: https://soundcloud.com/user-320432423/northumberland-county-council-podcasts-30-hour-pilot