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Help with Childcare Costs

There are various benefits and schemes designed to help families meet tthe cost of childcare.  The dropdown list below gives you an overview of what may be available to you. 

You can also find out more about what funding you might entitled to by visiting one of these websites:

childcare choices logoFind out if you are eligible for Government help with childcare costs whether you have toddlers or teens, and apply online on the Childcare Choices website

 

 

Check what Government help you could get with childcare costs with the Childcare Calculator

 

 

 

turn2us logoTurn 2 Us, a national charity have created an online benefits calculator. which offers bespoke information dependent upon your circumstances. 

  

If you would like further information and advice and would like to speak to one of our advisors please telephone our advice line on 0300 500 80 80

2 Year Old Funding

What is it?

At 2 years old eligible children can get 15 hours per week of funded early learning and childcare for 38 weeks of the year

This works out at up to 570 hours of funded early learning and childcare per year, usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year though some providers will allow you to use less hours per week over more weeks of the year

 

Is it for me?

The funding is available to:

Families receiving certain benefits,

OR

If the child is classed as "looked after"

OR

If the child has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

 

childcare choices logo

How do I find out more information?

Find out more on the Childcare Choices website

 

 

How do I apply?

Nottinghamshire County Council Logo

To check eligibility for funding visit the County Council website

Apply Online or telephone 0300 500 8080 to speak to an advisor at the Customer Service Centre

 

When can I apply and when will the funding start?

If you child is 2 between:

  • 1 September and 31 December – Apply October toDecember, to start from January (Spring term)
  • 1 January and 31 March – Apply January to March, to start from April (Summer term
  • 1 April and 31 August – Apply mid-May to August, to start from September (Autumn term)

Please note: our system only allows applications up to 16 weeks before the term starts.

If it is more than 16 weeks before the term start date then you will need to apply at a later date

 

Where can I use the funding?

At Ofsted-rated Good or Outstanding providers.  You can find a provider near you on the Families Information Service Directory

3 & 4 Year Old Funding - 15 Hours

15 Hours Childcare

What is it?

15 hours of funded early learning and childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year 

This works out at up to 570 hours of funded early learning and childcare per year, usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.

Some providers allow you to use fewer hours per week over more weeks, and you can use the funding at up to two providers

 

Is it for me?

All 3 and 4 year old children are entitled to the funding and your child can start from the term after their 3rd birthday

This applies until they reach compulsory school age (the term following their fifth birthday)

 

childcare choices logo

How do I find out more information?

Find out more and on the Childcare Choices website

 

When can I start using the funding?

  • If your child is 3 in January, February or March you can start their funded  place from the beginning of the Summer term
  • If your child is 3 in April, May, June, July or August you can start their funded  place from the beginning of the Autumn term.
  • If your child is 3 in September, October, November or December you can start their funded  place from the beginning of the Spring term

Find details of Nottinghamshire term dates

 

Where can I use the funding?

Free places are available at a range of early years settings including nursery schools and classes, day nurseries, pre-school playgroups and childminders.

You can find a provider near you on the Families Information Service Directory

 

Do I have to pay anything?

The funding does not cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips).

Providers may charge a fee for these additions, although you must be offered alternative options.

3 & 4 Year Old Funding - 30 Hours

30 Hours Childcare

What is it?

Working families may be entitled to up to 30 hours of funded early learning and childcare for 38 weeks of the year

This works out at up to 1140 hours of funded early learning and  childcare per year, usually taken as 30 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.

You can use fewer hours per week over more weeks for example to cover school holidays.  You can use the funding at up to two providers

 

Is it for me?

You, and any partner, must both be working and each expect to earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum or living wage, and each earn less than £100,000 a year.

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible. 

 

childcare choices logo

How do I find out more information?

Find out more and apply online on the Childcare Choices website or go straight to apply now

 

 

When can I apply and when will the funding start?

You can apply up to 16 weeks before your child turns 3 i.e. when your child is 2 years and 36 weeks old. 

You should apply during the term that your child turns 3 for funding to begin at the start of the following term.

E.g. 

Child turns 3  1 January – 31 March    Apply 15 January – 28 February    Starts April

Child turns 3  1 April– 31 August    Apply 15 June– 31 July    Starts September

Child turns 3  1 September – 31 December    Apply 15 October – 30 November    Starts January

You can apply outside of these dates but you may not get your code in time for the start of the next term.

 

How do I apply?

Applications can be made at www.gov.uk/apply-30-hours-free-childcare

Watch this short video guide on applying for tax-free and 30 hours childcare

You can also follow this step-by-step guide on how to apply and use 30 hours free childcare

 

What happens next?

If your application is successful you will be sent a code which you take to your chosen provider(s) along with your National Insurance number and your child's date of birth. 

They will check the code is valid. 

You may receive the eligibility code before your child turns 3 but you can only start using their 30 hours place the term following their 3rd birthday, or the term after the date the eligibility code was issued (whichever is the later)

e.g. If your child's 3rd birthday is 17 July and you receive the code on 1 August you can start using the 30 hours from 1 September, but if you don't receive the code until 12 September you will have to wait until 1 January to start using the 20 hours funding

You must confirm your details are up to date every 3 months or your code will expire. 

 

Where can I use the funding?

Free places are available at a range of early years settings including nursery schools and classes, day nurseries, pre-school playgroups and childminders.

You can find a provider near you on the Families Information Service Directory

 

Do I have to pay anything?

The funding does not cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips).

Providers may charge a fee for these additions, although you must be offered alternative options.

 

What if I'm not eligible for 30 hours?

If you're not eligible for 30 hours funding you are still able to use the 15 hours funded childcare entitlement

Tax Free Childcare for Children Aged 0-11

What is it?

A Government top-up scheme for working families.

For every £8 you pay in the government will add in an extra £2.  Up to £2,000 per child per year, or up to £4,000 per year if you have a disabled child.

 

Is it for me?

You, and any partner, must both be working and each expect to earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum or living wage, and each earn less than £100,000 a year.

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible. 

You can use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as:

  • 15 hours free childcare
  • 30 hours free childcare

You can't use it with:

  • Universal Credit
  • Tax Credits
  • Childcare Vouchers (closed to new entrants)

 

childcare choices logo

How do I find out more information?

Find out more and apply online on the Childcare Choices website or go straight to apply now

 

How do I apply?

Applications can be made at www.gov.uk/apply-for-tax-free-childcare 

You can also follow this step-by-step guide to tax-free childcare

 

Where can I use the funding?

You can use Tax-Free Childcare all year round to spend on regulated childcare, such as:

  • Childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • Before and after-school clubs and holiday clubs

You can find a provider near you on the Families Information Service Directory

Universal Credit for Childcare

What is it?

You can claim back up to 85% of childcare costs for children under 17 if you receive Universal Credit up to a maximum monthly limit of:

  • £646.35 for one child
  • £1108.04 for 2 or more children

Is it for me?

You, and any partner, must be working, or you’re due to start work, and are claiming Universal Credit and you pay childcare costs

You can't claim Universal Credit at the same time as:

  • Tax credits
  • Tax-Free Childcare 

How do I find out more information?

Find out more information about claiming childcare costs in the Universal Credit: childcare guide

How do I apply?

Go to Universal Credit online to apply for Universal Credit or Sign in to your existing account 

Where can I use it?

You can use more than one provider but they will need to be a registered childcare provider for you to claim universal credit childcare costs, such as:

  • Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • Registered after-school clubs and playschemes
  • Registered schools

You can find a provider near you on the Families Information Service Directory

Disability Access Fund

What is it?

Early Years Providers in Nottinghamshire are eligible to receive Disability Access Fund (DAF), currently £615 annually, per child, where a three or four year old child is taking up a place and is in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

 Is it for me?

  • Do you claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA)* for your child?
  • Is your child aged 3 or 4 years old?
  • Does your 3 or 4-year-old access their funded nursery entitlement at a Day Nursery, Pre-School, Childminder or School Nursery?

*Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who:

    • is under 16
    • has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability

They will need to meet all the eligibility requirements.

For further information about DLA look on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

Four year olds in primary school reception/foundation stage classes are not eligible for DAF funding but 3 and 4 year olds in maintained nursery settings are eligible for DAF funding.

 

If a child, eligible for DAF, is splitting their free entitlement across two or more providers their parent(s) will need to nominate the provider to whom they wish the payment to be made. This will usually be the provider where the child is accessing the majority of their free entitlement hours.

 

If a child receiving DAF moves from one provider to another, the new provider is not eligible to receive DAF for this child within the same academic year. The new provider will need to wait until the following academic year to be able to apply for funding for the child

Who to contact

Early Childhood Services Business Support

Telephone 0115 9772510 or E-mail earlychildhoodservices@nottscc.gov.uk

Support While You Study

Care to Learn

What is it?

Up to £160 per week (or £175 if you live in London) to help with the cost of childcare or taking your child to their childcare provider

Childcare payments go directly to the childcare provider, travel payments go directly to your school or college

Is it for me?

The scheme is for parents under 20 at school or in further education

How do I find out more information?

Find out more about eligibiity and how to apply at www.gov.uk/care-to-learn

Childcare Grant

What is it?

You can get 85% of your childcare costs or a fixed maximum amount, whichever is less.

The maximum you can get is:

  • up to £179.62 a week for 1 child
  • up to £307.95 a week for 2 or more children

Is it for me?

Parents in full-time higher education with children under 15, or 17 with special education needs.  You must be eligible for student finance

2021 to 2022 academic year

You can get 85% of your childcare costs or a fixed maximum amount, whichever is less.

The maximum you can get is:

  • up to £179.62 a week for 1 child
  • up to £307.95 a week for 2 or more children

How do I find out more information?

Find out more including how to apply at www.gov.uk/childcare-grant

Learner Support

What is it?

Your learning provider (for example, a college) decides how much you get.

The money can help pay for things like:

  • accommodation and travel
  • course materials and equipment
  • childcare

Is it for me?

If you’re aged 19 or over, on a further education course and facing financial hardship

How do I find out more information?

Find out more information at www.gov.uk/learner-support 

 

Working Tax Credits - Childcare Element

What is it?

Pays 70% of childcare costs, as long as your childcare costs are not more than:

  • £175 per week for one child
  • £300 per week for two or more children.

Is it for me?

Only available if you currently claim Working Tax Credits and meet the eligibilty criteria

How do I find out more information?

Visit www.gov.uk/working-tax-credit 

How do I apply?

You can no longer make a new claim for Working Tax Credits so this is only if you currently receive  working tax credits.  Instead you can apply for Universal Credit

Where can I use it?

You can use tax credits for childcare to help pay:

  • Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • Registered after-school clubs and playschemes
  • Registered schools
  • Home care workers working for a registered home care agency

Childcare Vouchers

Scheme now closed to new applicants

Only available to people who joined the scheme on or before 4 October 2018

You can take up to £55 a week of your wages, which you do not pay tax or National Insurance on

Cannot continue to claim if you have a Tax-Free Childcare account

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