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This page provides information on 30 hours' childcare which will commence in Buckinghamshire from September 2017. The scheme aims to help families with 3 and/or 4 year olds to start back into work or to extend their working pattern.


What's Changing? 


Currently all 3 and 4-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week. These changes extend the current 15 hours to 30 hours per week (in total) for working families. These changes are being introduced as part of the Childcare Act 2016.


Who's Eligible?


  • Parents of three and four year olds will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 30 hours free childcare:


  • They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.


  • This equates to £120 a week (or £6,000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week (or £5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old.


  • This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.


  • The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work.


  • Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.


  • Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.


  • Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (example: they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.


  • If a non-EEA national, the parent must have recourse to public funds.



Who will not qualify?


        A parent will not meet the criteria when:


  • Either parent has an income of more than £100,000


  • Either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control (and has no recourse to public funds)


What happens if a parent loses eligibility?

  • They will receive a “grace period” – this means they will be able to keep their childcare for a short period.


  • Once the “grace period” has lapsed, the parent may be entitled to the universal 15 hour entitlement.


What Happens Now?


Step 1: Check your eligibility


You can now find out more and check your eligibility for 30 Hour’s Childcare (and all other government childcare schemes) via the Childcare Choices website


Childcare Choices allows you to:



The website allows you to select how much you earn, followed by whether or not you live with a partner. You will then be presented with your options highlighted in yellow (schemes you do not quality for will be greyed out). Under each available option you will see: “Is it for me?”. Selecting this will display further details and direct you to the relevant place such as online registration, calculators, email alerts, or GOV.UK pages.


Take me to Childcare Choice


Step 2: Sign Up


  • Once you have visited the Childcare Choices website (see Step 1 above) and you have received your email confirming you can sign up, you will need to:


  • You go onto the GOV.UK website to complete your application. If you don't have online access you will be provided with details of a help line number to contact to complete the application.


  • Your eligibility is assessed based on the information submitted and HMRC data. If successful, you will be shown confirmation that an account has been created for you on the system.


  • If you are eligible for 30 hours', you will receive an eligibility code into your secure account before the start of the summer holidays. If you are also applying for Tax Free Childcare, you will receive your 30 hours' code at the same time.


  • Bring your eligibility code to Tot Town Nursery and we will 'book' your place for you. The code will be validated by the Tot Town Nursery before a place is offered to your child. Please note: it may take some time validate your code as the electronic system enabling us to do this is still being set up.


  • Upon successfully validating the eligibility code, parent and Tot Town Nursery agree on a date when the provision will begin.


  • Your child is admitted into the provision for the length of the validity period.


  • You will receive notification to reconfirm your eligibility for 30 hours' before the validity end date. You confirm that your circumstances have not changed since the initial application or update the application if it has.

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