So what is the free childcare deal?
In a nutshell, many working parents of 3 to 4-year-olds in England will be eligible for 30 hours of free childcare - rather than the current 15 hours.
But the first thing you need to know is that this is 30 hours free for only 38 weeks per year - not 52 weeks of the year. It's basically equivalent to school term times. In theory, you may be able to spread the free childcare out over further weeks, but this will mean you'll get fewer than 30 hours free childcare each week.
When will it start?
From September 2017, three and four-year-olds of working parents in England will be entitled to an additional 570 hours per year, meaning these families will be able to claim up to 1,140 hours of free early education and childcare per year. You may have heard this being talked about as 30 hours free childcare. Eligible children will get an additional 15 hours free childcare on top of the 15 hours they can already receive, equalling 30 hours free per week over 38 weeks of the year (term-time) or approximately 22 hours per week each week of the year.
Will my child get it?
Not necessarily as not everyone is eligible. But everyone will still receive the 15 hours free childcare that is currently available.
Eligibility rules for 30 hours free childcare:
- Your child will be aged 3 or 4 when the scheme starts in your area
- Both parents must be working - or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family
- Each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage
- Each parent must have an annual income of less than £100,000
- You live in England
More details about the criteria can be found on www.peterborough.gov.uk/30hoursfree - any updates to information as we get them will go on here.
For enquiries please call the HMRC 30 Hour helpline: 0300 123 4097