Free Childcare Places – Do I Qualify?

The Government, in September 2017, rolled out the free childcare scheme, which provides a certain number of hours of free childcare for 3 to 4-year-old children. However, there was too much confusion amongst parents regarding the free childcare scheme. As a parent searching online, you may have come across ’15 hours free childcare,’ and ’30 hours of free childcare.” So, which one is your child eligible for?

The truth is that all three to four years old children in England are qualified for 15 hours of free childcare per week. It is available for 38 weeks per year and totals 570 hours per year. The condition is that you can only use it with a certified childcare provider like Cheeky Chums Day Nurseries.

Let’s take a detailed look!

Early years education funds

If your child is between three to four years old and is yet to start school, they are eligible for a grant from Government-funded childcare organisations.

Every toddler in the country is sanctioned early years education funding, starting from the first school term after their third birthday. Terms define the beginning of the official spring, summer, or autumn term. It means that if your child’s birthday falls in the first half of the term, they cannot start until the start of the next full term.

15 hours free childcare

You should contact your childcare provider and speak to them about enrolling your child. Once you clear out all the details with them, the childcare provider will apply for the funding on your behalf. The parents should also contact their selected childcare provider the term before they wish to use the fund. This way, they can book their child’s place with ample time. Your childcare provider will ask parents to undertake a parental agreement that confirms the number of hours they wish to claim.

If you want, you can apply and claim extra hours under the 30 hours funded childcare scheme.

What do parents get under 15 hours of free childcare?

Under the scheme, the parents get funded childcare of up to 15 hours for 38 weeks in a year. Few childcare providers might allow parents to spread their funded hours over several weeks, for fewer funded hours per week.

Some childcare providers cannot provide 15 hours funded childcare or provide limited hours. It mostly happens due to their opening times or availability of places. If you want, you can use your 15 hours at different childcare providers but its not a good option in terms of maintaining a cosistant caring environment for your child.

When do the 15 hours of free childcare start?

The 15 hours funded childcare starts after your child’s third birthday. It translates to the terms starting either in January, April or September. As a parent, you can keep claiming your funding till your toddler starts school.

Talk to our team at Cheeky Chums Day Nurseries to find out more and how you can claim your 15 hours of funding. Working parents can get an additional 15 hours per week under the 30 hours funded childcare scheme. To claim these hours, you need to check your eligibility first. Cheeky Chums can guide you through the enrollment process as a renowned childcare provider and relieve your doubts. Cheeky Chums offer outstanding child care service and prioritise all of our children’s early years development above all else. You can contact us today!

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