From September 2017 you may be eligible to receive extended hours funded childcare.
Currently, all families in England are entitled to some level of free childcare a week.
All families with three and four year old children can received 15 hours free childcare or early education a week. Families receiving support (JSA, income support, or tax credits) with children aged two are entitled to 15 hours.
The new schemes are both aimed at families where parents work. From September, you can now receive twice as many hours for children aged under 4. And you can receive £2 for every £8 you spend on childcare in the Government's tax-free scheme.
30 hours Free childcare
Working families with children aged three or four can now get 30 hours free childcare a week. This is 570 extra hours a year – 1,140 hours in total.
You are your partner must earn at least £120 a week on average.
If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.
You won't be eligible if you or your partner earn £100,000 or more.
Where can I use the hours?
You can use your free hours at participating:
Nurseries and nursery classes
Playgroups and pre-school
Sure Start Children's Centres
If your child will still be three on August 31, you can now apply for the scheme
This is for all working families, including self-employed, with children under 12. If your child will still be under four years old on August 31, you can now apply for this scheme.
The online service will see you receive a government top-up of £2 for every £8 you pay into your Tax-Free Childcare account – up to a cap of £2,000 per child. All parents of disabled children (under 17 years old) can also apply for Tax-Free Childcare.
If you and your partner each earn at least £120 a week
If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities
If you or your partner earn £100,000 or more
You cannot use your childcare vouchers at the same time. Working families are entitled to receive vouchers, depending on their earnings and when they join the scheme, from their employer. These won't be avaialble for new joiners after April 18.
You cannot claim if you are receiving working tax credits for childcare. People on tax credit can claim back up to 70 per cent of costs for childcare for youngsters under 16.
What can I spend the money on?
Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
Registered after-school clubs and playschemes
Home careworkers working for a registered home care agency
For more information on both schemes and to check your eligibility please see the Childcare Choices website by clicking here.