Free Childcare 15-30 Hours Free Preschool Education
All children in England are entitled to 570 free hours pre-school per annum. It is usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks, for example. You can get it from the term after your child’s 3rd birthday. Some Preschool nurseries are open all year round and you can make your own arrangements to extend these hours at your own cost.
15 hours free preschool childcare
All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get free early education or childcare. Some 2-year-olds are also eligible for 15 hours free childcare, for example, if you receive certain benefits. There are many scenarios that contribute towards the free childcare and you should contact your local Preschool Nursery for more detailed information.
The free early education and childcare: Must be with an approved childcare provider (such as Abbeywood Lodge who have been approved since 2018). When your child starts in reception class (or reaches compulsory school age, if later), this is when the childcare support stops. Contact your local Preschool for more information.
30 Hours Free Childcare Per Week
You may be eligible to get up to 30 hours of free childcare (1,140 hours per year, which you can choose how you take). If you’re entitled to the extra hours, sign up online to get a code to give to your Nursery or childcare provider to reserve your place. You’ll get the extra hours once the next term starts. If you’ve already registered, you can sign in to your childcare account.
Check your early years’ childcare funding eligibility
You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are in work – or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave, or each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week (this is £120 if you’re over 25).
Please note: This earnings limit doesn’t apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago. You’re not eligible if your child doesn’t usually live with you, the child is your foster child, or either you / your partner has a taxable income over £100,000 per annum.
You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits or childcare vouchers.
If you can’t work you may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.
It can be confusing!!
Understanding your entitlement can be confusing if you are not able to work it out, or need help, your local pre-school nursery (assuming they accept the Free 15 – 30 hours grant, not all do) is the best place to go for assistance. They will be able to explain your entitlement, what the options are and how to apply, it is also a good opportunity to check out your local pre-school.