UPDATE: Childcare Act 2016 – Entitlement to Free Childcare from Today
The Childcare Act 2016 (Commencement No 2) Regulations 2017 (the “Regulations”) were made on 19 July 2017. The Regulations bring into force sections 1(1) and section 6 of the Childcare Act 2016 (the “Act”) on 1 September 2017, which increase free childcare entitlement for parents.
Currently, parents of three or four year old children in England get 15 hours per week of free childcare. The Act and Regulations effectively double eligible parents’ entitlement to free childcare for their child, meaning they will be entitled to 30 hours per week instead.
The eligibility criteria, as set out by the Department for Education, is as follows:
- Parents earn (or expect to earn) the equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage over the next three months.
- Parents are not eligible if one parent has a taxable income which exceeds £100,000.
- Parents are eligible if 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.
- There are also exceptions if one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, adoption or statutory sick leave.
To benefit from this free childcare provision, make contact with your local authority.