Blog - GREAT NEWS - childcare is becoming more affordable for parents!
We know that childcare funding can seem like a bit of a minefield, particularly if you are looking into provision for your first child. Below, we've tried to explain the different funding options as simply and as clearly as possible, to help you make an informed decision and most importantly, not miss out on funding that you are entitled to!
As a rule, every child in England receives 15 hours of free funding from the term after they turn three years of age. It is worth noting that you can top up and pay for additional sessions yourself if required. Some families are entitled to 15 hours of childcare per week (up to 570 per year) if they have a child turning two and they also qualify for either job seekers allowance, income support, employment and support allowance or their household income is less than £16,190 per year.
In households where both parents (or the sole parent in a single-parent household) work a minimum of 16 hours per week, extended funding is available to parents of three and four year olds which means a total of 30 hours of free childcare per week are available. Again, it is possible to top these hours up and pay for additional sessions if you need them.
Many parents will be relieved to hear that there are changes afoot! The Government recently announced that the current 30 hours scheme will be expanded to include all children of working parents over the age of nine months. This increased offer will be introduced in stages as follows:
From April 2024, working parents of two year olds will be able to access 15 hours of funding, from the term after they turn two
From September 2024, 15 hours of free childcare will be extended to include children from the age of nine months, from the term after they turn nine months
From September 2025, working parents of children under the age of five will be entitled to 30 hours of free childcare
When the funding changes come into place from April 2024 onwards, nursery and preschool places will become increasingly sought after so we urge parents to register their interest and book spaces as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
There is lots more information about the funding available, eligibility criteria and links to apply at https://cornwall.cloud.servelec-synergy.com/SynergyWeb/