3 and 4 year old Extended Entitlement (30 Hours Childcare)
Since September 2017, working parents of 3 and 4 year old children have been able to apply for up to 15 hours of funded early education entitlement per week, in addition to the 15 hours per week, universal entitlement that all 3 and 4 year olds receive. This additional funding stream is called the Extended Entitlement and provides the opportunity for 3 and 4 year olds to access up to 30 hours per week when combined with the universal entitlement, enabling children to up to access a maximum of 1140 hours per year. The extended entitlement is only accessible to children who are not yet attending a school reception class and whose Parent/Carers meet certain eligibility criteria as detailed below.
Unlike the universal entitlement parent/carers must apply for a validation code. Once a code has been given, children may take up the extended entitlement place from the start of the following school term but must be registered in a childcare provision by the termly statutory headcount/census date. It is worth asking your childcare provider about the headcount/census date to ensure you don’t miss out on funding!
What is the criteria?
Each parent (or lone parent) earns at least the minimum equivalent of 16 hours per week at the national minimum wage or national living wage, this equates to earning at least:
£120 per week (or £6000 a year) for each parent aged 25 years and older
£112.80 per week (or £5800 a year) for each parent aged 21-24 years.
Could be eligible where one or both parents are unable to work due to maternity leave, paternity leave, statutory sick, shared parental or adoption leave.
Where one parent meets the earnings criteria but the other parent is unable to work due to being disabled, having carer responsibilities or they have been assessed for having limited capacity to work.
Where one parent is in the 'start up period' (newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
You will not be eligible if:
Either parent earns more than £100,000 a year.
Either parent is a non-EEA (European Economic Area) national and subject to immigration control and has no recourse to public funds.
If you are successful in your application you will be sent a code by HMRC. The code will be sent to the Gateway Account that you set up when you apply. This code must be taken to your the childcare provider who will deliver the extended hours entitlement. The Childcare Provider must validate your code prior to the child commencing the extended hours.
Talk to your childcare provider about how they are able to offer the funded hours. Funded hours may be split across more than one provider, but no more than two providers in a day. The extended entitlement could be stretched across the year to include school holiday periods, if the childcare provider is able to offer this. This would also mean a reduction in the number of hours per week; for example 22 hours over 51 weeks so that the total 1140 hours (universal and extended entitlement) hours were not exceeded.
Importantly: You must reconfirm your eligibility code every 3 months, with HMRC. HMRC will prompt you to reconfirm via text or email. Log into your Gateway Account to reconfirm your details and eligibility.
It is the responsibility of the parent to reconfirm the code when prompted by HMRC or the Early Years Provider.
If your family falls out of the eligibility criteria, you will be offered a grace period of funding before the extended entitlement of 15 hours stops.
Your child cannot start at a new place at an Early Years provision if you are already within the grace period for re-confirmation.