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30 hours free 'childcare'

(33 Posts)
BooseysMom Mon 26-Jun-17 21:10:58

Hi, does anyone know whether you have to apply for 30 hours free childcare if you already get 15 hours? It looks like the eligibility criteria has changed as when i checked a few weeks back it said both parents have to be working at least 16 hours each (as with the 15 hours free).. But now on the Childcare Service website it says that you have to be earning on average at least £120 p/w. It doesn't mention anything about 16 hours now ..unless i'm missing something which might well be the case as i'm so bloody tired!! I have asked my employer for 2 1/2 extra hours p/w to make up to the 16 hours so now according to the new rules i won't need these hours.
Any advice gratefully received.
Thank you x

Snap8TheCat Tue 27-Jun-17 13:52:11

The universal 15 hours is to all three and four year olds.

The additional 15 hours and does have to be applied for. The criteria is each parent works 16 hours at minimum wage or above up until £100,000 per year per parent.

Check out the childcare choices website.

BooseysMom Tue 27-Jun-17 14:32:14

Hi Snap, thanks for replying. I'll check it out

Mycarsmellsoflavender Wed 28-Jun-17 16:57:38

I noticed it had changed too. I don't know why - surely it makes more sense to give it to low paid parents, rather than hypothetically 2 high paid parents who each work part time?

StealthPolarBear Wed 28-Jun-17 17:01:29

What families on just under 200k get it?? Surely qoulf be cheaper to be univeraal

BoraThirch Wed 28-Jun-17 17:04:15

I have just applied for it and it just asks if you earn between £120 a week and £100k a year, no question about actual hours.

HelenaJustina Wed 28-Jun-17 17:13:06

You have to be earning the equivalent of 16 hours/per week at minimum wage or above, up to a ceiling of £100k. Both parents must meet the minimum requirements but if one parent tips above the upper threshold then you are no longer eligible.

The website is okay, just make sure you have all the information to hand, it is taking parents at our setting 20-25 minutes to complete.

StealthPolarBear Wed 28-Jun-17 17:52:10

Really? So aren't most eligible? We certainly would be, other than the lack of child of the right age grin

StealthPolarBear Wed 28-Jun-17 17:52:50

Is the 100k per person or per couple?

thenewaveragebear1983 Wed 28-Jun-17 18:19:16

Sorry to be a pain, Are the original 15 hours still universal? Or are they means tested too?

Mycarsmellsoflavender Wed 28-Jun-17 18:21:31

You are only eligible if both parents work ( and earn over £120 per week but under £100k per year). Although you still get the 15 hours free if you don't qualify.

As I understand it, a couple earning 90,000 each would get the extra 15 hours free childcare but a SAHM or an unpaid carer married to someone earning a low wage wouldn't. Another ill thought out Tory policy.

StealthPolarBear Wed 28-Jun-17 18:23:52

Flipping heck.

OddBoots Wed 28-Jun-17 18:25:15

The 15 hours is still universally funded - you don't need to apply for that, the setting do it on your behalf (you might just need to sign a form they present you).

The only caution I would express with the 30 hours is that some people have reported that applying for it has ended up cancelling their tax credits and/or childcare vouchers so look out for small print and tick boxes.

gigi556 Wed 28-Jun-17 18:26:54

It isn't ill thought out... It's not meant to be a benefit for those who are the poorest. The purpose of the policy is to encourage women (and men too) to go back to work so that the economy doesn't lose skilled workers to parenthood.

cookielove Wed 28-Jun-17 18:27:19

I think it's really there to help working parents, if your are a SAHM you wouldn't need the 30 hours, and 15 hours is plenty for socialising and such!?!

StealthPolarBear Wed 28-Jun-17 18:28:47

Oh OK gigi. But surely parents on just under 200k can afford childcare - we certainly could, admittedly in the North East.

MrsHathaway Wed 28-Jun-17 18:29:11

I work 10h/w. To qualify you have to be earning the equivalent of 16 hours a week at NMW at least, which could be 8 hours at £15/h. It's a Conservative policy so it's about earnings not effort.

It is a separate form. I applied online through the government gateway. It was a chuffing nightmare with heaps of personal information about both partners including data from P60s and payslips. Once it's approved (ie the numbers match up) you get a long code number which you will put on your provider's paperwork to allow them to claim the funding.

Dontrocktheboat Wed 28-Jun-17 18:32:30

Hi interested to see some people have actually managed to apply for this! I have tried at regular intervals over past few weeks but keep getting a message that the website is experiencing 'technical difficulties' - has anyone else encountered this?

MrsHathaway Wed 28-Jun-17 18:37:35

Yes you can't combine with tax free childcare I think - but it tells you multiple times while you're completing the form.

30 hours is a lot if you're using it term time only. Spread across the whole year it's 22.5h/w which is still almost half the week if your child goes to day nursery full time.

We'll be using 26h/w to send DC3 to preschool four "full" days a week (9-3.30) with the option to add another session (potentially 11.30-3.30) from Easter to roll him gently into school. That's far longer than my working hours and means the government is freeing me up to do grocery shopping / gym visits / coffee mornings on my own.

BoraThirch Wed 28-Jun-17 18:38:18

Yes - same here. I was eventually given a code for tax free childcare, which isn't what I want confused. Last time I managed to get onto it it said it was still checking eligibility. Haven't managed to get the code for 30 hours yet and it has taken hours of my time now!

Saltandpepperpig Wed 28-Jun-17 18:43:31

Does anyone know if you are claiming the 30 hours and then go on maternity leave, can you continue claiming any free hours whilst on maternity?? Trying to sort out what will happen with DC1 when I go on maternity with DC2 or if I will have to take her out of nursery as won't be able to pay for it when on maternity!
And if you can, does this stay at the 30 hrs or drop back to the 15?

BoraThirch Wed 28-Jun-17 18:45:39

Yes, you still get the 30 hours on mat pay.

HelenaJustina Wed 28-Jun-17 18:50:49

You still get it whilst on mat leave and there is a grace period during which you still get it if you are made redundant.

Everyone still gets the Universal 15. Not all settings will offer the Extended 30 hours, settings can offer 'up to' this amount. And many will offer less, in order to keep places open for unfunded 2yr olds for example. It's an administrative nightmare from a settings point of view!

MrsHathaway Wed 28-Jun-17 18:53:19

Dedicated HMRC enquiry line is 0300 123 4097.

thenewaveragebear1983 Wed 28-Jun-17 19:02:08

Thanks for answering re:15 hours!

When my ds gets his 15 hours, I will be using that time to retrain, gather the tattered fragments of my career and get myself ready for the workplace after 5 years of play doh and rhythm time.

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