From September 2017 the government have increased the hours from 15 to 30 a week for children of working families who meet their eligibility criteria. This means that eligible children will be able to receive up to 1140 hours of free childcare a year. In Surrey this will usually be referred to as the extended entitlement or +15 hours.
The extended entitlement will be made available to families where:
- both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family)
- each parent earns on average a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum wage (£107 a week or £5,574 per year) or 16 hours at National Living wage (£115 a week or £5,990 per year)
- neither parent has an income of more than £100,000 per year
Who will be eligible to receive the extended entitlement?
The extra funded hours will be made available to families where both parents (or the sole parent in a lone parent family):
- are working and earn on average a weekly minimum amount equivalent to working 16 hours at either National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW)
- have an income of less than £100,000 each per year
- live in England (parents who are non-EEA nationals must have recourse to public funds to qualify).
You may still be eligible to apply if you or your partner:
- are taking paid time off work, such as maternity leave, paternity leave or sick leave
- are temporarily away from England for a period of up to 6 months, such as on military duty
You can also apply if either you or your partner are employed or self-employed and one of you gets one or more of the following benefits:
- contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit or long-term Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- National Insurance credits because of incapacity or limited capability for work
- you’ve been assessed as having limited capability for work for Universal Credit purposes
The government have introduced an online eligibility checker for parents https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk If this shows you are eligible you will be given an eligibility code to take to your childcare provider. You will need to reconfirm your eligibility every three months to continue claiming the extra hours.
If your family no longer meets the criteria you will stop being eligible to claim the extra hours. However, there will be a grace period until the start of the next funded period to give you the opportunity to regain employment. If your circumstances change during the grace period you can reapply again and continue to receive the extra hours.
You will still be able to receive the universal 15 hours of Free childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds even if you are not eligible for the extended entitlement.
Buckles and Bows Pre-school will only be offering a limited number of +15 hour spaces. We will base this decision on availability and continuity. If you meet the criteria and choose to use the +15 hours with Buckles and Bows we require you to agree to the following:
-If you are splitting the 30 hours between ourselves and another child care establishment we require that you attach the FEE 15 hours to Buckles and Bows and the +15 hours to the other child care setting. This means that should you loose the +15 hours due to employment circumstances you will remain with Buckles and Bows for the agreed FEE hours.
-Should your child be attending every session, Mon-Fri 9-3:15 (a total of 31..25 hours), you will be charged for the 1hr 15 mins (at £7 per hour) that it takes you over for attending
Whilst we will endeavour to accommodate parents requested preferences (i.e am or pm, 15 hours or 30 hours) this may not always be possible.
During the early stages of this new legislation we will continue to assess the affect that offering the +15 hrs has on the Pre-Schools viability and continuity requirements. We reserve the right to amend our + 15 hr admission policy based on this continual assessment.
If you think you may be eligible and you have any questions, please contact Zoe Hall on 07748901606 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any information you share will be kept completely confidential and will not be shared with anyone inside or outside the setting.