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30 Hours government funded childcare


The government has committed to doubling the amount of free childcare from 15 to 30 hours a week for working parents of eligible 3 & 4 years from September 2017. They want the 30 hours extended entitlement to have a real impact on the lives of families, supporting parents who wish to work, or to work more hours, to be able to do so.

This is the equivalent of 1140 hours of free childcare over a year.

The first 15 hours are already accessible at The Saplings.  In addition to this all eligible 3 and 4 year olds can access an additional 15 hours free early years education in an Ofsted registered setting.

What can The Saplings offer?

At The Saplings we are able to offer this provision to children to access the extra 15 hours. You can offset your total 30 hours against any pre-school sessions or choose to use them against before and after school sessions or holiday club, our setting is open from 7.30am until 6.00pm.

Who is eligible?

Eligibility for the additional free entitlement will include households where:

  • all parents (whether two-parent family or lone parent) are working and earning a minimum of the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the National Minimum or Living Wage (includes income received from tax credits or Universal Credit) and one parent’s income does not exceed £100,000

  • One or both parents are on leave (parental, maternal etc.)

  • one or both parents are on statutory sick pay

  • parents on zero hours contracts and those who are registered as self-employed

  • one parent is employed and the other parent has either:

    • substantial caring responsibilities and or a disability

    • is a foster carer with their own 3 and 4 year old children

Further information can be found on the government website

https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

How do I claim?

Once you know if you are eligible parent(s) you need to apply through the government gateway, accessible through the above link. Once the application is complete parent(s) will receive a code confirming eligibility to take to their preferred provider.

PARENTS MUST GIVE THIS REFERENCE CODE TO THE SAPLINGS TO SECURE FUNDING FOR THEIR CHILD(REN).

Without this we cannot provide the extra 15 hours for free and parents will be charged at the normal rate. Parents must undertake this eligibility check every 3 months to secure funding on an ongoing basis.

What should I do next?

  • Go to https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/ to check your eligibility

  • If eligible, apply through the government gateway to receive your reference code, provide us with this reference code by 21st July 2017

  • If not eligible, please let us know this information before 21st July 2017

  • At the same time please give us an indication of how you would like to use your funded hours. Whether that just be pre-school session’s term-time or whether you would like to use them over other sessions or holiday club. This is called “a stretched offer” and for example you could use the 1140 hours over 51 weeks (taking into account 1 week closure at Christmas) meaning you would get about 22.5 hours a week as free for EVERY week of the year.

  • IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS AT ALL PLEASE CONTACT US AS WE ARE MORE THAN WILLING TO HELP

  • DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY OF THE CHILDREN IN THE SETTING IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE TO ENSURE FINANCIAL STABILITY. Government funding creates a funding gap between the price we charge and the price they give us to provide the funded hours. As a registered charity we are a not for profit organisation so all money we have goes on providing the best care possible for your children and awareness of who is eligible will give us the ability to plan appropriately to ensure this level of care can continue.

You will also be asked to complete a declaration, a sample of what this may look like can be found on the Department for Education Website.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/596462/free_early_years_provision_and_childcare_model_agreement.pdf

We will also keep our website up to date with any developments.

Contact details for The Saplings

Email: news@thesaplings.org.uk

Phone: 01473 614753

Where can I learn more about this?

Websites:

https://childcarechoices.gov.uk

www.gov.co.uk

https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/childcare-information-and-support-for-parents-and-providers/

If you have any questions regarding this please do not hesitate to contact Jo or Rachel by email news@thesaplings.org.uk, or phone 01473 614753 or if require any help in obtaining the reference number required to obtain the additional 15 hours free funding.