30 hours free childcare consultation

Consultation for parents about 30 hours free childcare for three and four year olds

Closing date: 24 March 2017

Background

All three and four year olds are currently entitled to up to 15 hours free childcare per week the term after they are three (there is no eligibility criteria as this is a universal offer). However, if you are a working parent you may be able to increase your free childcare entitlement from 15 hours to 30 hours per week for your three or four year old child from September, 2017.

For the purposes of this criteria:

  • A ‘parent’ means a person who has parental responsibility for the child, or cares for the child. In cases where a parent has remarried or is living with a partner, the step-parent or partner must also meet the earnings threshold. Foster carers are eligible for the extended entitlement if they meet the criteria set out below for their own children. Foster carers are not eligible for the extended entitlement for the children that they foster.
  • Working parents includes employed persons, self-employed persons and parents on zero hours contracts who meet the criteria.
Eligibility criteria to increase your free childcare entitlement to 30 hours per week:  

Both parents are working (or the sole parent in a lone parent family is working) subject to the following criteria:

  • Each parent (or sole parent) has a weekly minimum income equivalent to at least 16 hours at national minimum wage and neither parent (or sole parent) has an income of more than £100k per year. At present hourly wage rates vary, therefore you may be eligible if you earn the equivalent to:
    A. Over 24 year olds on National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour - the minimum income requirement is £115.20 a week. 
    B. 21 to 24 year olds on National Minimum Wage of £6.70 an hour - the minimum income requirement is £107.20 a week. 
    C. 18 to 21 year olds receiving £3.87 an hour - the minimum income requirement is £61.92 a week.
  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, adoption, maternity or paternity leave, on statutory sick pay.
  • One parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring.
  • One parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.

A national online eligibility checking service will be put in place shortly. Details of how to access this will be available in the near future on the Cheshire West and Chester (CWaC) website and on the Local Offer website.

When your child could be eligible:

  • If your child's third birthday is between 1 January - 31 March then you can claim at the beginning of term on or after 1 April.
  • If your child's third birthday is between 1 April - 31 August then you can claim at the beginning of term on or after 1 September.
  • If your child's third birthday is between 1 September - 31 December then you can claim at the beginning of term on or after 1 January.

How to get involved

This 12 week consultation closes on 24 March 2017. You can complete the survey online or by printing off the questionnaire and posting it back to us. If you would like a paper questionnaire sending to you, then please contact us.

Other ways to take part

  • Telephone: Information, Advice and Support Service on 0300 123 7001
  • Write to: Information, Advice and Support Service, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Ground Floor, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE

How your feedback will be used

Cheshire West and Chester (CWaC) and childcare providers will use your feedback to help us to ensure that there are enough childcare places available at the times you need them from September 2017 onwards. The information that you provide will be used by CWaC and by local childcare providers, but all answers will be kept anonymous.

Further information

Council information is also available in audio, braille, large print or other formats. If you would like a copy in a different format, in another language or require a British sign language (BSL) interpreter:
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