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Funded childcare expansion underway with 15 hours for 2 year olds

Company News

4 April 2024

In the 2023 Budget, the Government announced a phased approach plan to expand government funded childcare, in a bid to help working parents, and to reduce the number of adults who have to leave their jobs or cut their hours due to childcare costs.

At Kids Planet, we welcome the expansion of the early years roll-out and look forward to providing early years education and care to more families.

The Government’s expansion of childcare support is now being rolled out, and as of April 2024, eligible working parents of 2-year-olds across England can get help with 15 hours of funded hours during term time.

From September 2024, funded childcare will be expanded to include 15 hours of free childcare for your child from the age of 9 months for working parents (you can apply from 12 May). And from September 2025, 30 hours funded childcare will be rolled out to all under 5’s.

15 hours for 2 year olds – apply now

As of 1st April, applications are now open for eligible parents of children who will be turning 2 years old before 31st August to access 15 hours of government-funded childcare from the September term date.

The funding starts the term after your child has turned 2 years old, and terms start in January, April, and September.

Eligibility

Your eligibility for this rollout* depends on:

  • If you are working -Funded childcare is available to families of working parents (employed, self-employed, or both)
  • Your income – Each parent must be working over 16 hours a week and be earning between £8,670 (£183 a week) -£100,000
  • Your child’s age and circumstances
  • Your immigration status

Families who are eligible for certain benefits may be eligible for 2 year old funding and should refer to Gov.uk for details.

Free Childcare vs Funded Childcare

Funded childcare is not ‘free childcare’, yet it can sometimes be promoted as ‘free childcare’. This is important to highlight as the scheme provides 38 weeks (term time) of subsidised childcare per week, rather than the full 52 weeks of the year. This means that if you require a nursery space for 52 weeks of the year there is payment required to cover the remaining 14 weeks of the year.

At Kids Planet, this can be spread over the 52 weeks, resulting in fewer hours per week (approximately 10.5). Funding provided by the government is only for the basic cost of childcare and is not designed to include meals etc, however, to save our parents money, all of our nursery fees cover the cost of nappies, wipes, and formula. We refer to this as our ‘All-inclusive’ offering, saving on average over £600 per year (for children in the first 12 months). This is a service not often offered by other early years providers and one not to be ignored.

For ‘fully funded’ families with 15 hours term time only within Kids Planet, we aim to waiver the cost of food and consumables so those eligible are technically receiving ‘free’ childcare but it’s important to know what ‘funded childcare’ means in more detail.

Tax Free Childcare

The funded childcare scheme can be used alongside the Tax-Free Childcare scheme, a government initiative which helps eligible working parents with the cost of childcare. For every £8 you pay into an online account, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2000 per child per year, or £4,000 for a child with a disability. You can pay your Kids Planet bill directly from this account.

How to apply

You will need to apply via the Gov.uk site  – Check what help you could get with childcare costs – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) before the start of term when your child is eligible. You will need your:

  • National Insurance Number/Unique Tax Code
  • Work start date
  • Details of any support or benefits
  • UK birth certificate for your child

For the 15 hours, you will receive a code which you will need to pass to your nursery manager so this can be added to your invoice.

Renewing your code/re-applying

Please be aware that your eligibility for funded childcare including Tax Free childcare needs to be renewed every three months. You will receive a reminder email to the address you registered when applying so keep an eye out for this and be aware that if you miss the renewal date you will need to wait for the next term before applying again.

We believe in providing quality early years education and care for every child, and we’re delighted to offer funded spaces to make this accessible for more families.

Find our more about funded childcare at Kids Planet & Kids Allowed Day Nurseries
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