Council reminds working parents of new extended entitlement to free childcare

Posted on: 15 June 2017

Devon County Council is reminding working parents of children aged three and four that their entitlement to free childcare and early learning will rise from 15 hours to a potential 30 hours per week from September 2017.

The deadline for applications to use the extra Government funding, for children expected to start childcare this September, is about ten weeks away, on 31 August.

But before then parents must apply online to receive an 11 digit code from HMRC to take to a childcare provider who must validate the code with Devon County Council.

That might take time the closer to the end of the August deadline, the council is warning.  They’re encouraging eligible parents to make the appropriate preparations now rather than risk disappointment later.

From September, eligible 3 and 4 year-olds will be entitled to 1,140 hours per year – that’s the equivalent of 30 hours a week during term times – of funded early learning and childcare.

To be eligible, parents must be in work and earning the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the national minimum wage £120 a week or £6,000 per year.

Cllr James McInnes, the Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for education, said:

“There’s still time, but the process does require parents to apply first to the Government for a code that they then take to their childcare provider.  We don’t want people to leave it until the last minute and risk missing out on places, so we’re reminding people now.”

You can apply for your 11 digit code from the HMRC online.

More information is available here.

Childcare hours can be taken in nurseries, including school nursery classes, pre-schools, playgroups or at certain childminders.  Details of childcare providers are available online.

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Posted in: DCC Homepage | Education | Health and Wellbeing