The national eligibility criteria which families need to meet are:
- both parents must be working (or the sole parent if in a lone parent family)
- each parent must have a weekly minimum income equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage
- each parent must have an income less than £100,000 per year
A 'parent' is defined as a person who has parental responsibility or care 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.
The definition of 'working' includes employed people, self-employed people, and parents on zero hours contracts who meet the above criteria.
What if one parent doesn't work?
In a two parent family, both parents must work and fit the criteria above. In a single parent family, the lone parent must work.
However, you would also fit the criteria if:
- both parents are employed but one (or both) is temporarily away from the workplace on maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave, or 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
Can I claim the 30 hours at any childcare provider?
Please check that your chosen provider can offer the 30 hour extended childcare entitlement. Being eligible does not mean that a child will be guaranteed a place.
Children in a maintained reception class are not eligible for the 30 hour extended childcare entitlement.