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Is your child turning 3 before the 1st September 2021?

Did you know that if your child turns 3 years old before the 1st September 2021, then they are entitled to a minimum of 15 hours per week FREE child care?

Sounds too good to be true? Well, read on to find out if you are eligible for free funded childcare.

Free funding for pre-school children over the age of 3

As it stands as present, all 3 to 4 year olds in England are entitled to 570 free hours of childcare per year. It is usually taken as 15 hours a week, for 38 weeks of the year.

This government funding is universal, meaning that everyone with a child aged three is entitled to access it, whatever their circumstances, from the term after their child’s 3rd birthday.

For example, a child who turns 3 in December will then receive funding in January.

This funding for free early education and childcare must be with an approved childcare provider such as Castle Lane.

The funding automatically stops once your child starts in reception class (or reaches compulsory school age, if later).

You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.

How can I access the 15 hours free childcare for my 3 year old at Castle Lane?

This funding is for 15 hours a week only.

It is also only available during the Leicestershire term time (and therefore not during any school holidays).

You can claim for the following hours:

  • 8am-1pm (5 hour)
  • 1pm-6pm (5 hour)
  • or whole day 8am-6pm (10 hours)

We charge a sundries cost for food and any trips (please see our information on fees at Castle Lane Day Nursery).

Should your personal circumstances require you to need completely funded sessions, these will be offered during the 1-6pm session only.

For further information about 15 hours funding for three year olds contact: https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/free-childcare-and-education-for-2-to-4-year-olds?

Can I access the 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds?

Government funding of up to a total of 30 hours childcare per week for children aged 3 to 4 is also available for parents. However, this funding is dependent on the following criteria:

  • if you are working
  • how much you earn
  • your child’s circumstances
  • your nationality

What is the eligibility criteria for free education and childcare for 3 and 4 year olds?

You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:

  • in work
  • on sick leave or annual leave
  • on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave

If you are on parental leave, you cannot apply for the child you are on leave for.

If you are not currently working, 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.

How much do I need to earn to claim for the 30 hours free childcare?

According to the government website, you will need to expect to earn a certain amount over the next 3 months.

This is at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week on average.

For example, over the next 3 months you expect to earn at least £1,707.68 – the National Living Wage for people over 25.

If you have a partner, they will need to expect to earn at least this much too.

If you are self-employed and do not expect to make enough profit in the next 3 months, you can use an average of how much you expect to make over the current tax year.

This earnings limit does not apply if you are self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.

If you or your partner have an ‘adjusted net income’ over £100,000 in the current tax year you will not be eligible. This includes any bonuses you expect to get.

When can I claim the 30 hours free childcare for my child?

Children aged three are entitled to access it from the term after their 3rd birthday. For example, a child who turns 3 in December will then receive funding in January.

This funding for free early education and childcare must be with an approved childcare provider such as Castle Lane and stops once your child starts in reception class (or reaches compulsory school age, if later).

When can I access the 30 hours free childcare for my 3 year old at Castle Lane?

This funding is for 30 hours a week only. It is also only available during the Leicestershire term time (and therefore not during any school holidays).

You can claim for the following hours:

  • 8am-1pm (5 hour)
  • 1pm-6pm (5 hour)
  • or whole day 8am-6pm (10 hours)

We charge a sundries cost for food and any trips (please see our information on fees at Castle Lane Day Nursery).

Parents can also choose to spilt this funding across different approved providers should they wish. Castle Lane can contact another setting to liaise about your child’s progress.

How to access 30 hours per week childcare funding for 3 and 4 year olds

For more information on how to access the 30 hours per week funding, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/30-hours-free-childcare