30 Hours Free Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds
The government introduced a 30 hour free childcare entitlement for parents of children who meet certain criteria.
Find out if you are eligible and what to do next here.
Both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) and each parent earns on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national living wage and less than £100,000 per year. Working will include self-employed people.
Parents do not necessarily need to actually work 16 hours a week, but rather their earnings must reflect at least 16 hours of work at the national living wage. This includes parents on zero hour contracts who meet the criteria.
Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity leave, adoption leave or statutory sick pay.
One parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring or one parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.
Parents who need help with applying can call the Childcare Choices Service Customer Interaction centre on 0300 123 4097 and apply over the phone. Parents that complete their original application over the phone will need to phone the centre back to reconfirm their eligibility.
Please note: this telephone service is provided by the government and not Rochdale Borough Council. We are unable to access this service for you or on your behalf.
If your child is already in the term after their third birthday, they may have to wait until the start of the next term for a place to be available. For example, your child became three in August and the term began in September but you did not gain an eligibility code until October. This would mean your child's 30 hour place could not begin until the following term (which would be January).
Accessing the extending hours is consistent with the child's care plan and;
Where there is a single foster parent family, the foster parent is engaging in paid work outside their role as a foster parent or;
Where there are two foster parents in the same fostering household, both are engaging in paid work outside their role as a foster parent.
Foster carers will need to complete a separate application form with their supervising social worker to enable an eligibility check to be undertaken. If you are eligible (this is determined by government not Rochdale council) you will be given a unique 11 digit code which you can take to a provider of your choice as proof of eligibility.
The application form for foster carers will be available to download from here shortly.
2) Eligible parents will receive a voucher code that they should supply to a provider as proof of eligibility. This will be validated by the provider and local authority prior to placement beginning.
3) Parents will be prompted by the Childcare Choices service every three months to confirm the details they entered on their application are still accurate. This is to check continued eligibility. Please note: This is a government service and is not a service provided by Rochdale Borough Council.
4) Parents will be prompted by text message and or email, four weeks before the reconfirmation deadline and again two weeks before the deadline if you still haven't reconfirmed. You can also check the reconfirmation dates by logging in to the Rochdale Parent Portal.
2) If your current or chosen provider is not planning to offer 30 hours free childcare per week you may wish to consider alternative providers who may be able to meet your needs.
3) Assuming your current provider is offering 30 hours free childcare per week and you are using over 30 hours childcare per week you will only be required to pay anything in addition to 30 hours per week.
4) If you have been offered a place you will be required to provide the following information to your childcare provider:
Your child's birth certificate
National insurance number of either parent who made the application to chosen childcare provider and;
Your 30 hour eligibility code (the 11 digit number you will have been given if you are eligible)
5) The provider will then verify and validate the code, ask you to complete a parental declaration and agree a start date for your child to begin accessing 30 hours free childcare per week.
You can split your hours over more than one, but no more than two providers.
If you access more than the free 15 or 30 hours per week, you would be liable for additional fees and charges as agreed with your chosen provider.
If you do access additional hours please be aware additional terms and conditions may be applied by your provider in relation to these paid for hours. Please ensure you are clear what you are being charged for and ask this information be clearly shown on any weekly or monthly bill.
Some providers may not offer the facility to bring a packed lunch. These providers may insist you buy a prepared lunch from them at an extra cost. It is your decision whether you will agree to this.
Please remember a charge for a lunch of £2 per day can amount to £40 on any monthly bill if your child/children attends 5 days per week. If you agree to this condition you are agreeing to pay this amount. Some providers also apply extra charges for items such as mid-morning or afternoon snacks, sun cream or nappies if you do not supply your own. Any charges of this type should be clearly explained to you before you begin your place.
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Flexible Entitlement Team
- 01706 927823