Image demonstrating Parents urged to check eligibility for 30 hours of free childcare

Parents urged to check eligibility for 30 hours of free childcare

Working parents looking for help with childcare costs are being reminded that they could be entitled to 30 hours of free early education and childcare for their three and four year-olds.

Parents with children up to the age of four, who think they may be eligible and wish to access the tax free entitlement can apply by using the Government’s childcare service website.

A total of 1,140 hours per year are available, which can be used flexibly with one or more childcare providers. This childcare offer means families accessing the full 30 hours can save around £2,280 per child, per year.
 
To be eligible for the 30 hours extended entitlement, both parents must be working (or the sole parent be working in a lone parent family). Each parent/or lone parent needs to be earning, on average:
  • a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW)
  • less than £100,000 per year
Northumberland County Councillor Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children’s services said:
“In September last year the Government doubled the amount of free childcare from 15 to 30 hours a week for working parents of three and four year olds.

“Unlike the existing universal 15 hours, the introduction of the 30 hours extended entitlement means that working parents must apply and be eligible, so we need to get this important message out to parents.”
In Northumberland, 1,940  families are benefitting from 30 hours free childcare, helping to reduce costs for hard working families. One of these is Mary Bell from Bedlington.

She said: "I work in a care home and do long shifts. The 30 hour childcare offer helps me to ensure my daughter is being looked after. Without it I would not be able to afford to work.”

April Orr, Manager and Early Years Professional, West End Pre-school Bedlington said:
“I feel that one of the main benefits to parents, is that they are able to be more flexible when going back to work, and go back to work confidently, knowing that their children are going to be looked after.”
 
Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
“We are supporting as many families as possible, in areas like Northumberland with access to high-quality, affordable childcare, helping to put more money in their pockets and balancing work and family lives.”  
 
For full details regarding the eligibility criteria see  www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
Parents can also check what help they could get with their childcare costs at www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator.
 
 
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