Frequently asked questsions about funding:
Funding is complicated, with so many different options and schemes. The cost of childcare is high so it's best to make sure you can take advantage of any assistance available. We are pleased to tell you about the government’s funding available for 3 and 4 year olds to help you untangle the details. Funding was eesigned to give working families up to 30 hours funded childcare a week (1,140 hours per year). If completely utilised it can help you save on lots of money, all year round. If you speak to your manager and they will help you understand how the scheme works and put together a package that makes life easier, and more affordable.
With our annualised billing the funding is spread out to ensure invoices are kept to a minimum when funding is used in conjunction will wrap around or full time daycare.
Who’s eligible for the funding?
It’s designed for working families with 3 or 4 year olds, where both parents live and work in the UK. So, you and your partner will both need to earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum wage or living wage and no more than £100,000 a year each.
What funding will I actually get?
The maximum you will be entitled to is up to 30 hours of funded childcare a week (1,140 hours per year). This is annualised over the year to minimise any fluctuations in monthly fees.
We’ve worked hard to balance the funding, vouchers (even if you use vouchers from Busy Bees, Edenred, Leapfrog or any other voucher supplier), HMRC payments and direct parent payments, no matter what type of funding or remittance you pay through we try to keep all accounts up to date with a 48 hour window. Some voucher and HMRC payments although authorised can take up to 10 days to reach the nursery account.
When can my funding start?
You can claim up to 30 hours of free childcare from the start of the term after your child turns 3.
Terms follow the school year. For example, if your child’s birthday is in July, provided you are eligible for 30 hours you’ll get the funding from September.
To get started, you’ll need to apply through the Childcare Choices website and get an eligibility code, but we’ll tell you more about that in Step 2: How do I apply?
What’s the difference between the existing 15 hour scheme and this one?
Families with 3 and 4 year olds already get 15 hours of funded childcare per week in term time. That’s a universal scheme, so everyone can benefit, whether they’re working or not. The new scheme is just for working families, and it increases funding from 15, to 30 hours.
When should I apply?
You’ll be eligible for funding from the start of the first term after your child’s 3rd birthday.
To make sure you get your code as soon as possible, you’ll need to apply before the end of the previous term. You don’t have to wait until then though. You can apply for your code up to 16 weeks before their third birthday, and it’s a good idea to do it early, just in case you need any help. If you do, just ask us.
How do I apply?
Just go to childcarechoices.gov.uk to apply. Once you’re done, they’ll send you a code, which you’ll need to give to us so we can set your funded hours up.
Do I need to apply again for the next term?
Yes. The way the scheme’s set up, you’ll be asked to confirm you’re still eligible every three months. It only takes a minute or two to do, and you’ll be sent a reminder when it’s time.
Like a bit more detail?
You can find out more about the funding at childcarechoices.gov.uk or call the government’s Childcare Service Helpline on 0300 123 4097.