Information for parents/carers on free entitlement to early years education and childcare for three to four-year-olds (and eligible two-year-olds) in Northumberland.
**Apply here for 30 hours**
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?
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:
out of school providers
school run early years provision
How will parents apply for a 30 hour place place?
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.
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 working (or sole parent in a lone parent family) & each parent/carer earns on average:
a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) (for under 25 yr olds) or national living wage (NLW) (if over 25 yrs old), and
less than £100,000 per year
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.
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:
Up to 30 hours per week across 38 weeks per year or (term time offer)
Up to 21.92 hours per week across up to 52 weeks of the year (stretched offer).
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
Parent Communication Toolkit
Tips for using 30 hours
Customer Journey for Foster parents
Application Form for 30 Hours Free Childcare for Foster Children (PDF)
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 Potts - 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
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