Derbyshire parents urged to claim extra free childcare

1 November 2017

Working families across Derbyshire are being encouraged to claim up to 30 hours of free childcare for their three and four year olds.

We're urging parents and carers to check if they qualify and apply now (opens in a new window).

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

Councillor Alex Dale, our Cabinet Member for Young People, is encouraging families who think they qualify to act now.

He said:

"As a parent of young children myself, I know what a busy time it is for families at Christmas and it's easy for things to get forgotten so I'd urge everyone who thinks they might be eligible to apply now.

"This extra funding from the Government will save families up to £2,280 enabling parents to work more hours if they want to while giving their children the opportunity to socialise and learn."

All three and four-year-old children are entitled to 15 hours free early education a week and the government has now extended the amount available to many working families − by doubling it to 30 hours.

If families are eligible, children can take up a place from the start of the next full term after their third birthday. 

We're working 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 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'll still be entitled to the universal 15 hours of free early education.