There is funding available for Nursery places if certain criteria are met.
Free childcare places for eligible two year olds
Check if you qualify
Families earning less than £16,190, with a two year old, could get up to 15 hours of free childcare per week at a day nursery, pre-school, childminder or in some school’s nursery class.
Two year olds with an education and health care plan can also benefit.
Your two year old can get free childcare if you have, or are on:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Universal Credit
- tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
- the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- support through part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act
- the Working Tax Credit four-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
They can also get free childcare if any of the following apply:
- they're looked after by the council
- they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- they get Disability Living Allowance
- they've left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
The 15 hours must be used over at least two days each week and parents/carers can use a maximum of 10 hours a day between 8am and 6pm.
For more information please click here
Free early education for three and four year olds
All children aged three and four years old are eligible for free early education for up to 15 hours a week, for up to 38 weeks a year, or 570 hours a year if ‘stretched’. This is known as ‘universal entitlement.’
The Government is increasing this to 30 hours a week (for up to 38 weeks a year) for working parents earning the equivalent of the National Minimum wage for 16 hours per week from 1 September 2017. This is known as ‘extended entitlement.’ In Plymouth, providers may offer up to 12 or 24 funded hours per week ‘stretched’ over 47.5 weeks per year.
Eligibility for the extended entitlement
Working parents of three and four olds will need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for up to 30 hours a week funded childcare
- Each earns or expects to earn the equivalent to 16 hours a week at the National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months. This equates to £120 a week (or about £6000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old, or £112.80 a week (or about £5800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old and £56 a week for apprentices in their first year.
- This means you don't have to actually work 16 hours a week but earn at least the equivalent of these wage rates.
- 'Working' will include the employed and self-employed, and people on zero-hour contracts, and people away from work due to statutory sick pay, maternity, paternity or adoption leave, and where one parent is working and the other is in receipt of benefits due to caring responsibility or disability.
Working parents in receipt of Universal Credit may be entitled to receive the childcare costs element of Universal Credit. This means that they can be reimbursed up to 85% of their eligible childcare costs for childcare which enables them to take up paid work.
This childcare costs element can be claimed by parents in addition to the DfE's free childcare element.
The government has also introduced a Tax Free Childcare scheme
Who will not qualify?
Families will not meet the criteria when:
- are not in paid work
- either parent has an income of more than £100,000
- either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control (and has no recourse to public funds)
Family & Childcare Trust
Help with Childcare Costs