Derbyshire parents reminded to claim extra free childcare

30 November 2017

Working families across Derbyshire are being encouraged to apply now for extra free childcare.

All three and four-year-old children in the county are entitled to 15 hours free early education a week.

The Government has now extended the amount of childcare available to some working families − doubling it to 30 hours.

We're reminding families to apply for the extra hours by visiting Childcare Choices (opens in a new window).

Parents who want to take up the extra childcare from the new term in January must apply before 31 December 2017.

Councillor Alex Dale, our cabinet member for young people, said:

"Christmas is a busy time so don't wait until the deadline − check now if you qualify.

"The extra funding is worth around £2,500 to families and will enable parents to work more hours if they want to while giving their children the chance to socialise and learn."

We continue to work with schools, nurseries, pre-schools and childminders to encourage them to offer the extra hours flexibly to meet the needs of working families.

To be eligible for up to 30 hours of free childcare families must meet the following criteria:

  • both parents must be working (or the sole parent in a single parent family)
  • each parent must earn on average at least £120 a week - equal to 16 hours at national minimum or living wage, including those on zero hours contracts
  • each parent does not earn more than £100,000 a year.

Families may still qualify where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, adoption leave or statutory sick pay or if one is working but the other is unable to work because they are disabled or have caring responsibilities.

The extra hours are government funded and eligibility is assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Even if parents don't qualify for the extra hours they will still be entitled to the universal 15 hours of free early education.