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Extended free childcare - 30 hours for 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours a week of free early learning.

From September 2017 the government has committed to doubling the amount of free childcare from 15 to 30 hours a week for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds.

Eligible working parents will be able to access the additional free childcare in Ofsted registered childminders, schools, nurseries and out of school club who have registered to provide Early Education Entitlement places with Birmingham City Council.

A child is entitled to 30 hours childcare the term after their third birthday or from the term after their family becomes eligible. ;Parents will need to confirm that they remain eligible every three months. The eligibility criteria is set out below.

  • The parent of the child (and their partner where applicable) should also be in qualifying paid work. The definition of qualifying paid work is each parent or the single parent in a lone parent household will need to expect to earn the equivalent of 16 hours at the national living wage or their national minimum wage rate over the forthcoming quarter. This applies whether you are in paid employment, self employed or on zero hours contract.
  • Where one or both parents are in receipt of benefits in connection with sickness or parenting, they are treated as though they are in paid work.
  • Where one parent (in a couple household) is in receipt or could be entitled to be in receipt of specific benefits related to caring, incapacity for work or limited capability for work that they are treated as though they are in paid 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 in order to qualify for the extended entitlement.
  • If either or both parents’ income exceeds £100,000 they will not be eligible for the extended entitlement.

Children who have been admitted to primary school and are attending a state-funded or independent school reception class are not entitled to any additional free hours outside their school reception class   For more information parents should view the Childcare Choices Website

Use the childcare calculator on the GOV.UK website to check what help you could get with childcare costs.

Useful information for parents:

Funded early education information for parents

Tips for using 30 hours free childcare

Top things parents need to know

Your new childcare account journey and information

Video case studies of the positive impacts of 30 hours

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