Due to delays in eligibility codes being issued by HMRC there may be some families who applied for 30 hours free childcare in August and have not received their code by 31 August. If you started your application process before 31 August here's what you now need to do:
If you take up additional childcare prior to confirmation please note that these hours may be fully chargeable if the code is not validated or you don't meet the eligibility criteria. Your childcare provider will be able to provide further information around code validations and what to do next.
If you have not started your application you will not be able to get the extended entitlement to 30 hours free childcare until 1 January 2018.
The 30 hours extended entitlement is double the universal entitlement of 15 hours which is available for all three and four-year-olds. Working parents can use it as 30 hours per week during term time or 22.8 hours per week if you choose to ‘stretch’ your entitlement across 50 weeks of the year. (1140 hours in total).
The application process above is managed by HMRC. The Childcare Choices website also offers a comparison guide for all the ways you can reduce childcare costs.
- If you want to take up the entitlement from September 2017 you need to apply for your code by 31 August 2017. Codes issued after this date cannot be used to access free childcare until the start of the next term (1 January 2018).
- If you are eligible you'll get an 11 digit eligibility code. You will need to keep this safe, as you will need to provide this to your childcare provider to access your free place.
- Your child must be at least 2 years and 6 months old before you will be able to make an application using the online system. Once your child turns three, and you have confirmed your eligibility with HMRC, you can start claiming from the beginning of the following term, i.e. 1 April, 1 September or 1 January.
Choosing a childcare provider
You will need to choose an eligible childcare provider that has capacity to offer you a childcare place for the hours you need. Visit our looking for childcare page where you can search for local provision and look at the types of childcare available.
Please note: The Family Information Directory will be updated with details of which providers are participating in the 30 hour scheme and any limitations on the number of places or hours that they are able to provide, as this information becomes known to us. Not all providers will choose to participate in the scheme and others might choose to offer the entitlement in partnership, or collaboration with other providers in their area. You can split the 30 free hours across a maximum of two sites in a single day.