Free Childcare for Parents

Hampstead Au Pair Agency

Due to new legislation being phased in, more parents can now get access to Free childcare.

Are You Eligible for Funded Childcare?

Eligibility for funded childcare and early education programs is primarily determined by two factors: the age of your child and your family’s working status or income. Here’s a breakdown of what’s available based on your situation:

  • From April 2024: Working parents of children aged 2 – 4 years will qualify for 15 hours of funded childcare weekly for 38 weeks a year.
  • From September 2024: Working parents of children aged nine months to under three years will qualify for 15 hours of funded childcare weekly for 38 weeks a year.
  • From September 2025: The offer extends to 30 hours of funded childcare weekly for 38 weeks a year.

Working Parents Eligibility

  • Earnings Requirement: Each parent must earn an equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum wage.  As of April 2024 the minimum a parent must earn is £1976 over three months but less than £100,000 annually. 
  • Employment Conditions: Applies to self-employed individuals, zero-hours contracts, and apprentices, based on expected earnings over the following three months.
  • Special Conditions: New business owners are exempt from the minimum earnings requirement in their first year. Families expecting to start paid work within 31 days can apply, anticipating meeting the income threshold.

Non Working Parents Eligibility

Eligible families can receive 15 hours of funded childcare per week for 38 weeks if they meet certain benefit-related criteria, such as receiving Income Support or Universal Credit with a household income of £15,400 a year or less after tax. If the family receives Child Tax Credit and/or Working Tax Credit and the household income is £16,190 or less

Additional Considerations

  • Family Dynamics: Eligibility criteria apply to both parents in dual-parent households and single parents in lone-parent households, including new partners.
  • Parental Leave: Parents on shared parental, maternity, paternity, or adoption leave are still eligible to apply for 30 hours of funded childcare.

For more detail, please visit the official Government website

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