As of September 2017 parents who are living and working in England may be entitled to 30 hours funded childcare, which is up to 1,140 hours per year in total! But how do you know if you are eligible and how simple is the process for applying? Here’s a quick and easy step-by-step guide for parents to keep you in the know.

Am I eligible?

Parents of 3 and 4-year-olds who are earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week (this is £120 if you’re over 25 years old, £112.80 for parents between 21 and 24, and £56 a week for apprentices in their first year) are eligible for 30 hours funded childcare. This earnings limit does not apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.

You will not be eligible if either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000. This offer is for working families in England. If one or both parents is a non-EEA national, the parent applying must have recourse to public funds.

For any more information on eligibility criteria, please click here!

How do I apply?

Applying for 30 hours funded childcare is quick and easy, here’s how:

  1. First, you’ll need your details (and your partner’s, if you have one), including your national insurance number and unique taxpayer reference, if you’re self-employed. Then, click here to be directed to the government’s online childcare service. You must make the application the term before you wish to start receiving the funding and you can apply up to 16 weeks before your child turns 3.

  2. You’ll be prompted to sign into your Gateway account, if you don’t already have one you can register using the same service (registering will take around 5 minutes).

  3. Once signed in, it’ll take around 20 minutes to fill in the required details and apply. You may find out if you’re eligible straight away, but it can take up to 7 days.

  4. If your application is successful you’ll get a childcare account, this will allow you to get your 11-digit code which you will need to take with you to your childcare provider along with your national insurance number and child’s date of birth.

  5. Your code will then be checked using the government’s eligibility checking system. If the code is valid, you can agree with the Nursery Manager how the discount would be applied.

  6. You will be reminded via text message or email every three months to reconfirm your eligibility.

Bright Horizons are pleased to offer 30 hours funded childcare for all eligible families. Find your nearest nursery here!