NEG 2, 3 & 4

Parental eligibility 


The government has now launched the Childcare Options website to enable families to access the latest information about the offer for childcare 


Parents can register for updates on 30 hours on this site now. They can also get a provisional idea of whether they are likely to qualify for 30 hours and Tax-Free Childcare using the Childcare Calculator


The graphic below illustrates the process for parental applications for both Tax-Free Childcare and 30-hour free entitlement.  HMRC will have sole responsibility for determining eligibility.

Eligibility criteria for the 30 hours


The extended free childcare entitlement will be available to parents/carers of three and four-year-olds where:


  • Both parents are working (or sole parent in a lone parent family) & each parent/carer earns on average:
    • a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) (for under 25 year olds) or national living wage (NLW) (if over 25 years old), and
    • less than £100,000 per year




  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave or statutory sick pay, or
  • One parent is employed & the other parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring, or
  • One parent is employed & one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.

    Additional Information


  • You do not need to actually work 16 hours per week, but your earnings must equal at least 16 hours work at minimum wage / national living wage. This equates to a minimum income requirement for a parent/carer over the age of 25 of (currently £7.50 per hour, £120 per week as at April 2017), or for 21- 24 year olds £7.05 an hour – therefore, the minimum income requirement for this group is £112.8 a week)
  • ‘Parent’ means a person who has parental responsibility for the child. In cases where a parent has remarried or is living with a partner, the step-parent or partner must also meet the earning threshold.
  • Foster carers are only eligible for the extended entitlement for their own children (if they meet the criteria); they are not eligible for children that they foster.
  • 30 hours can be taken across any provider to deliver 30 hour places (this is likely to include schools, childminders, private voluntary and independent settings and out of school providers).



Free 30 Hours - Frequently Asked Questions


When will 30 hours be rolled out in my area?

30 hours will be delivered in every area of England from September 2017.

How many weeks of the year is 30 hours available for?

Working families are entitled to 30 hours in each of the 38 weeks of the academic year. Parents can choose to stretch this offer over up to 52 weeks of the year where this meets their childcare needs, for instance 22 hours a week for 52 weeks, or just under 24 hours for 48 weeks, subject to availability.

Will the 15 hour entitlements continue?

All three and four year olds, and the most disadvantaged two-year olds, continue to be entitled to 15 hours’ early education a week.

Can providers charge for meals?

Providers are able to charge parents for meals, nappies and discretionary items such as trips and additional teaching such as learning a musical instrument. However, these charges are voluntary and at the discretion of the parent and therefore cannot be a condition of accessing any free entitlement place. Providers should deliver the free entitlements consistently to all children accessing any of the free entitlements, regardless of whether they opt to pay for optional hours, services, meals or consumables.

How will I know if my child is eligible?

Parents will apply online and will be given a unique code; they must give this code to their provider, along with their national insurance number and child’s date of birth, so that the provider can confirm with their local authority or a provider portal that it is a valid code. If they are eligible, they will receive a 30 hours’ eligibility code. Each area will have their own system for doing this and many will mirror the checking process for the two-year-old entitlement. We are funding local authorities to put digital portals in place so that providers can check this quickly and simply.

We're here for you:




Tel No. 0208 965 9585


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Thursday 0800- 1800

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Saturday 0800 - 1600


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     37 - 41 Winchelsea Road


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