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Schools and Childcare settings

From September 2017, working families have an entitlement to access up to 30 hours free childcare in Hillingdon.

Which parents are entitled to up to 30 hours free childcare?

To be eligible, both parents must be working and earning at least the equivalent of 16 hours a week at National Minimum or Living Wage. There are some exceptions to this where parents are away from the workplace for specific reasons. Find out about the eligibility criteria.

Does my setting have to offer 30 hours free childcare?

It is for each setting to consider whether to provide up to 30 hours free childcare and if so how they want offer the hours in ways that will be sustainable for them to deliver. However settings need to be aware that interest from parents in additional hours of free childcare may be high and they need to consider how they can meet this demand.

In offering 30 hours free childcare, is there a standard model for how these hours should be offered?

Settings can decide the hours and sessions in which free childcare is offered. However hours must be offered in such a way that parents are able to access the free hours without needing to pay for the childcare. For example if children are receiving free childcare in the morning and the afternoon, their parents cannot be required to pay for the lunch period.

Do settings have to register in order to offer up to 30 hours free childcare?

Settings do not need to register to offer hours in addition to the current entitlement to 15 free hours of childcare. However they should let the local authority know if they intend to do this, with the hours and sessions available and the number of children who can receive a place.

How much will settings receive to offer up to 30 hours free childcare?

Funding to settings is paid at the same hourly rate regardless of whether children are receiving up to 15 free hours or hours in addition to this. However free childcare must be offered to parents as free hours, not as a monetary discount from fees.

Can a parent use 30 hours free childcare at more than one setting?

Yes, a parent can access up to 30 hours free childcare at more than one setting. However they cannot use more than two sites in any one day and they can only access a maximum of 10 hours free childcare in a day.

If a parent accesses two settings for 30 hours free childcare but then their entitlement reduces to 15 hours a week, who loses the funding?

This depends on what information the parent has provided on the Parent Agreement form that the setting will have asked them to complete. On this form, parents are asked to nominate their main setting. This would be the setting who will continue to receive the funding if the child's entitlement reduces to 15 hours per week.

How parents claim 30 hours free childcare?

To begin with, parents need to check if they are eligible. They would do this by creating an account with the Childcare Service and providing the relevant details. The HMRC will confirm if a parent is eligible and if so, they will be given a code. They give this code to a setting that offers free childcare. The setting must confirm this code with the local authority before offering a place.

What should a setting do if a parent is struggling to get an eligibility code from the HMRC?

The parent needs to provide proof of eligibility. If they are eligible, they should have a message from the HMRC giving the code. If they have not received the eligibility code, they can provide the setting with documentary proof of eligibility while waiting for the code to be received. However they should be aware that the additional free childcare may be removed if the HMRC refuse their application. Each setting will have to decide how long they are willing to wait for a code from the parent.

How does a setting claim funding for up to 30 hours free childcare?

Settings apply for funding using the Provider Portal. Guidance on how to use the Provider Portal is available on this Provider Portal video.

What should a setting do if they are having problems submitting information to claim funding for a child?

It can be a problem submitting information for a child who is either in a Grace Period or whose code has a validity start date of 1 September or after. If settings have any problems submitting information for a child, they should e-mail fis@hillingdon.gov.uk with the child's name, eligibility code and the number of hours they need to claim for. For these children, the hours should be entered on the Provider Portal as "Universal hours".

Who can settings contact for further advice?

Issues relating to funding - email fis@hillingdon.gov.uk.

Issues relating to the EYFS implications of delivering more free childcare - email shynds@hillingdon.gov.uk.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 05 Oct 2017 at 10:11