Tuesday, June 26, 2018
FUNDED CHILDCARE: PARENTS IN BRIGG & DISTRICT NEED TO APPLY NOW
FROM KIRSTY WESTFIELD, NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL
In North Lincolnshire, working families have started to benefit from the 30 hours funded childcare for their children aged three and four – potentially saving them around £5,000 per year per child.
All families are eligible for 15 hours funded childcare per week with an Ofsted registered child carer. The additional 15 hours is available to most working families.
To apply for the extended 15 hours of funding, families should visit the Childcare Choices website www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
Here they can create a Government Gateway account and then apply for the ‘30 hours childcare’. The website gives a straightforward explanation of all Government childcare support, including Tax Credits or Universal Credits for childcare and the recently launched Tax Free Childcare.
All eligible parents are supplied with an 11-digit eligibility code to present to their chosen childcare provider who will then validate this and discuss attendance patterns.
A childcare calculator is also available for all families. It helps you quickly find out which of the childcare funding options works best for you. Visit www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator
Any applications made now will be able to access the extended 15 hours from 1 September 2018.
Families can apply during the term that their child turns three years of age and will be able to start the next school term. Families are encouraged to apply now to secure their place for September.
Families can access their funded place in Ofsted registered childcare, including childminders, nurseries, pre-schools, school nurseries, before and after school clubs, or a mix of these. Each type of provider offers different session times and availability. Parents should consider their needs and the type of childcare that is most appropriate. They can choose to split their funding between more than one setting, and they can spread the 1,140 of childcare hours throughout the year if required. A maximum of 10 hours childcare is available in any one day. Not all providers offer the funded places completely free of charge, for example parents may be asked to pay for meals.
Children are eligible for the universal and extended 15 hours the school term after their third birthday. For the additional 15 hours, both parents or a lone parent where appropriate, must be in employment (including self-employment) and expect to earn (on average) at least £120 a week. This is equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage. If one parent is on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or unable to work due to illness, a disability or caring responsibilities, they may still be eligible for the additional funded hours.
Parents who expect to earn in excess of £100,000 (individually) are not eligible. Parents who are studying are also not eligible, but other financial support may be available. Visit the Childcare Choices website for more information.
To help families make a choice the Family Information Service can supply details of local childcare providers. They can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01724 296629.
Cllr David Rose, cabinet member for Children, Families, Learning and Leisure, said: “Extended childcare funding supports families who work, but it can also assist families who wish to return to work, or increase their working hours, by making childcare more affordable.
“If you have a three or four year old who you would like to access the funding in September, you must apply as soon as possible and before 31 August, otherwise their funding won’t be available for the autumn term.
“The Government’s online childcare calculator is a very useful tool to help you work out which funding option is best for your family, and our Family Information Service is on hand to help you find a local childcare provider to suit your needs. Please do not hesitate to contact them for details.”