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30 hours free Childcare Q&A

Posted on 26 April 2017

In England 3 and 4 year olds of working parents are already entitled to 15 hours per week of free childcare however the government has plans to increase this to 30 hours per week.

When and where? 

The scheme was rolled out in September 2016 to 8 councils; these are Wigan, Staffordshire, Swindon, Portsmouth, Northumberland, York, Newham and Hertfordshire.

In addition to these 8, there will be a further 25 councils that will share £4 million of funding to work together as ‘Early Innovators’  where they will focus on special education, disability, availability of places and pay conditions. 

When will it reach you?

The scheme is scheduled to go nationwide in 2017 across England but will not be available in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland where they have their own childcare provisions.

Am I entitled?

The extra hours of childcare are available to working parents who earn over a weekly income equivalent to 16 hours at minimum wage and under £100,000 per year.

Families where one parent does not work will usually not be entitled to extra childcare hours, however in circumstances where one parent is on maternity, disability or sick leave, the family will be entitled. 

What are the issues?

Some nurseries are worried about their ability to afford extra childcare, the Government has promised extra funding however this still hasn’t availed their concerns and in councils where the scheme will be rolled out many nurseries have opted out of the scheme.

What next?

Click here to find out if the area you live in will be part of the 2016 pilot scheme or if it’s one of the 25 early innovators.

Click here to read in full detail the Government’s plans for childcare including more information on the introduction, implementation and capacity of 30 hours free childcare and even Government plans for special education.