Frequently Asked Questions
What is 30 hours free childcare?
This is a new entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4 year old children which was introduced in September 2017. This is an additional 15 hours per week entitlement to the child’s existing 15 hour free early education place.
This whole new entitlement of 30 hours free childcare is offered term time only (over 38 weeks).
Who is eligible for 30 hours free childcare?
Parents of three and four year olds will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 30 hours free childcare:
· They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.
· This equates to £120 a week (or about £6000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week (or about £5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old.
· This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on a zero hours contract.
· The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work.
· Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.
· Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, having caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.
· Where a parent is in a start-up period (i.e. they are newly self employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months
· If a non-EEA (European economic area) national, the parent must have recourse to public funds.
For up to date information on eligibility please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/parents or https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-coats/free-childcare-and-education-for-2-to-4-year-olds
How will the school know who are their eligible parents?
It will be a parent’s responsibility to apply for 30 hours free childcare via the online HMRC eligibility checker. Parents will receive an eligibility voucher code if they are eligible which they will be told to show to their chosen provider.
Are families eligible for the whole year once they receive a voucher code?
No, parents have a responsibility to re check their eligibility every three months with HMRC. HMRC will send parents reminders to re check their eligibility during a term. However, we advise schools to remind eligible parents to undertake this re check.
Can I choose any of the morning or afternoon sessions?
We expect your child to attend all of the 5 morning sessions in a week which will make up the funded 15 hours to which all 3 and 4 year olds are entitled.
Any combination of afternoon sessions can be chosen in addition to the morning sessions. Afternoon sessions will be subject to a fee as detailed in the Nursery Sessions and Admissions policy or can be be paid for with the voucher code for those eligible for the funding. Parents are responsible for determining their eligibility for 30 hours funding and for providing a valid eligibility code to the school. Eligibility codes have to be re-checked by the parent every three months.