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Childcare for two year olds

From the term after your child turns two, he or she might be able to have up to 15 hours per week free flexible childcare, for 38 weeks  per year.     This is called the Free Early Education Entitlement and it is paid for by the Government.

 You can claim a free place for your child if you receive one or more of the following:

  • Working Tax Credits and have annual gross earnings of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 'run on' - the payment you may receive for a further 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment or Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit - provided you have an annual income of no more than £16,190
  • Universal Credit – For places starting in the summer term of 2018 (on or after 1st April 2018), or any subsequent term, if a parent is entitled to Universal Credit they must have an annual net earned income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The 'Guaranteed' Element of the State Pension Credit
  • Child receives disability living allowance
  • Child has a current statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or is on an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC )plan
  • Child is looked after by a Local Authority
  • Child has left the care of a Local Authority through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order
  • Children of Zamrano Carers
  • Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private/family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human rights
  • Children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (the 1999 Act)

If you think your child may be eligible you need to complete the application form or call 01253 477854 for further details.  

Childcare for three and four year olds

All families with a 3 and 4-year-old child are entitled to the universal offer of free early education of up to 570 hours taken throughout the year. 

For example:

  • Up to 15 hours per week if taken over 38 weeks (term time) 
  • 11 hours per week if taken throughout the year

The entitlement for working parents is 1,140 hours per year, such as:

  • Up to 30 hours of funded childcare per week over 38 weeks term time
  • Up to 22 hours if taken throughout the year

Children will receive a free entitlement place from the term after their third birthday.

You will need to choose an eligible provider and agree attendance days and times. The provider will give you a registration form that you will need to complete in order that they can claim the appropriate funding from Blackpool Council.

Entitlement for additional 15 hours

There are additional funded hours available for working parents.

An eligibility criteria applies - Not all 3 and 4-year-olds are entitled to the additional 15 hours.

In general, families where one parent does not work (or neither parent works) are not be eligible for these additional hours.

To be eligible both parents need to be working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family), and each parent earns a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or living wage, and less than £100,000 per year.

There are some exceptions to this; so you may be eligible if:

  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity or paternity leave
  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on adoption leave
  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay
  • One parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring
  • One parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits
  • Or if you are a single parent and any of the above exceptions apply.

How to apply

You can apply for both the tax-free childcare and the 30-hour entitlement at the same time. Visit Childcare Choices website for more information

After your application

  • If you are eligible for the additional funded hours, you will receive an 11 digit reference number, which you should take to your childcare provider.
  • Your childcare provider will also require the National Insurance Number of the parent who made the application - and the child’s name and date of birth
  • Blackpool Council will verify the reference number and confirm with your childcare provider the period that they can fund 30 hours of childcare for.
  • Once you take up your 30 hours place, if your circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for the additional 15 hours, there is a grace period. This is intended to enable children to keep their place for a time, in the case of short-term changes. Blackpool Council will provide your childcare provider with the end date of this period.
  • Parents must confirm their status with HMRC every 3 months in order to continue receiving the additional hours