30 Hours Free Childcare

About 30 hours Funding

All children are entitled to Universal 15 hour funding from the term after their 3rd Birthday.  This entitlement is doubled if you meet the eligibility criteria for the 30 hours funding.  If you are eleigible then you can access up to 30 hours per week of free childcare for up to 38 weeks of the year.  This is a total of 1140 hours per year.  At Poplars, as we are open all year round, we ‘stretch’ the funding across 51 weeks giving an entitlement of 22.35 hours per week.

What is the 30 hours Funding?

The 30 hours funding is for working parents of 3 & 4 year old children. All 3 & 4 year old children are eligible for up to 570 hours per year of free childcare.  If you are eligible for the 30 hours funding this doubles to 1140 hours per year.

How do I know if I am eligible?

Go to childcarechoices.gov.uk to check your eligibility and apply.

What are the eligibility criteria?

Both parents must be working or the sole parent must be working if you are a lone parent family.

Each parent must expect to earn (averaged) at least £ 120 per week – the equivalent of 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage.  If you or your partner are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you’re unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

You cannot receive 30 hours free childcare if you or your partner expect to earn £100,000 or more.

I’m self-employed – will I be eligible?

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

If I qualify is it totally free?

The funding is paid direct to the childcare provider and is intended to cover the cost of the care but not additional costs such as meals and snacks, sun-cream, extra-curricular activities etc.

Here at Poplars we charge a small amount towards meals.  Currently we do not charge for any other extras e.g. sun-cream and extra-curricular activities are all provided free of charge.

You will need to pay for any additional hours booked.

Funded hours are free at the point of delivery and accessing funding is not conditional upon the take up of extras.  We can offer some stand-alone funded places on a limited basis according to individual circumstances and requirements.

I’ve heard that the funding is only for school terms and I have to pay full fees during school holidays, is this correct?

The ’30 hour funding’ covers 30 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year.  As we are open all year round we ‘stretch’ the funding over 51 weeks.  You will therefore receive 22.35 hours of ‘free’ childcare per week but your monthly fees will be the same each month.

What happens when I apply?

If you are eligible you will be given an eligibility code.  You can then claim your funding from the following term.  You need to bring the eligibility code into nursery along with your Id and your child’s birth certificate or passport.

It is important to note that to claim for the Autumn term you have to have your eligibility code by 31st August, for the Spring term you must have your code by 31st December and for the summer term you must have your code by 31st March.

Do I have to apply every term?

No, but you do have to re-confirm your details every 3 months. You will receive reminders – it is important that you re-confirm or you could lose your entitlement.