Parents and carers - 2, 3 and 4 year old Early Education funding

Extended Entitlement (30 Hours Childcare) frequently asked questions

What is Extended Entitlement funding ?

Extended hours funding , also known as 30 hour funding has been put in place by the government to support working families in England. Funded Childcare Providers must deliver Early Education and Childcare as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. This applies whether the child attends 15 or 30 hours.

How many weeks of the year can I claim extended/30 hour funding?

Working families are entitled to 30 hours per week, up to a maximum of 38 weeks per year. Parents can choose to stretch this funding over more than 38 weeks of the year where this meets their childcare needs. For example; 22 hours per week over 52 weeks, or 23 ¾ hours over 48 weeks. Not all Childcare Providers will be able to offer the flexibility of the ‘stretch’ model. Therefore, you are advised to discuss this with them prior to booking a place.

Do Childcare Providers have to offer extended/30 hours funding?

No. It is a provider’s choice whether they offer the 30 hours extended entitlement. They can choose to offer some or all of the hours. Parents are encouraged to shop around to find a provision that meets their family’s needs.

Who can offer 30 hours?

Day-nurseries, Childminders, Preschools and School based provision such as Nursery classes that are registered with Ofsted.

Parents can choose to split their funding between two Childcare Providers.  For example; a child may use their universal 15 hours at school nursery class and their extended 15 hours with a childminder.

My childcare provider only offers morning or afternoon places. How can they deliver 30 hours?

We encourage providers to work in partnership to offer 30 hours. For example, sessional providers, such as pre-school and some Nursery classes work with other providers to offer wraparound care which meets the needs of working parents who are eligible for 30 hours.

Do parents have to take up the full 30 hours?

No.  It is the parents’ choice whether they wish to access all of their funded hour’s entitlement, which is a maximum of 30 hours across 38 weeks, or a limited proportion of this.  For example: 25 hours per week over 38 weeks.

Can Childcare providers request additional payments?

Childcare Providers are able to charge for meals, nappies and other discretionary items such as trips and additional teaching activities for example, learning a musical instrument. However, parents must be given a choice to be able to ‘opt out’ of these charges by providing their own items e.g.  A packed lunch or nappies from home.  Where a parent is accessing a funded place, the Childcare Provider cannot impose additional payments as a condition of offering a funded place.

It is worth checking with your chosen Childcare Provider for full details of any additional charges before you register your child with them.

How will my Childcare Provider know if my child is eligible?

Parents need to apply online and will be given a unique reference code.

What if my chosen provider is full and they cannot offer the extra hours that I need?

Many providers in Coventry work in close partnerships with other providers in their local area to deliver early education and childcare provision therefore they may be able to signpost you to other local provision which can meet your needs. The Family Information Service will also be able to provide you with details of other childcare provision available within the area that you are seeking childcare.

They must give this code to the Childcare Provider, along with their National Insurance number and child’s date of birth.  The Childcare Provider should then validate the code prior to offering an extended hours place.

When can I check if I am eligible?

You can apply online any time after your child is 2 years and 39 weeks old.  You should first check that meet the eligibility criteria.  Your child will not be able to start their funded place until the term after their 3rd birthday.

 Parents must apply within the time frames stated in the 30 hour process - 31 December for a January start date, 31 March for an April start date, 31 August for a September start date.

Once I have received my eligibility code, will the extended hours funding remain in place for the whole year?

No. You will need to reconfirm your code every 3 months.  HMRC will contact you by email or text message to remind you that you must reconfirm.  Failure to reconfirm your code, will place you in a ‘grace period.’ This means that your child will not be entitled to extended hours funding once the grace period ends.  In addition to this, a child cannot use their extended hours funding at a new Childcare Provision if you are in the ‘grace period’ of your claim.

Will the 15 hours universal entitlement continue if I lose eligibility for extended hours funding?

Yes. All three and four year olds in England, are entitled to 15 hours, Universal Early Education Funding, over no less than 38 weeks.  Therefore if you lose eligibility to the extended hours funding, the universal funding will continue

What happens when my 4 year old starts school in September.  Will I still be able to claim 30-hour funding?

State funded school or academy

Once a child becomes a registered reception class pupil in a state funded school or academy, they are no longer eligible to receive 30 hours funding, in any capacity.  For example; before, after school, holiday club or where the child accesses reception class on a reduced timetable and attends another provision during the hours they are not in school.  Under these circumstances parents are not able to use their 30 hours code to claim funding.

Independent schools

Where a child attends an independent school’s reception class, the parent is able to use the 30 hours code up to the end of the term following the child’s 5th birthday (assuming that the school offers this provision).  However, the school’s charging policy and invoices to parents must show that these hours are free at the point of delivery.

Deferred/Delayed place

Where a family make the decision to defer the child’s school reception class place, meaning the child remains with a private provider between the ages of 4 and 5; in this instance 30 hours funding can be claimed up to the end of the term following the child’s fifth birthday. At this point the child will either move on to school and access reception class or parents will cover the remaining fees with the childcare provider.

Coventry Early Years Team

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 024 7697 5451

PO Box 15
Coventry City Council
Council House

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