I am pleased that on the 1st September the Government rolled out nationally the 30 hours free childcare entitlement in England, saving families up to £5,000 per year per child. Alongside the existing childcare support provided through Universal Credit and Tax-Free Childcare, this scheme is helping working families to balance the cost of childcare with work.

I understand from the Minister for Children and Families, Robert Goodwill MP, that parents wanting to take up a 30 hours place for their child in the January term should apply now, and ideally by 30 November, to ensure that they receive their eligibility code in good time for next term. Here is a copy of the letter I have recently received from the Minister:

Dear Colleague, 

I am writing to you with some important information for working parents regarding 30 hours free childcare. I am delighted that the Government met its commitment to launch 30 hours free childcare earlier this year, and that many parents are now benefitting from this offer. We are now looking forward to a new cohort of children joining the scheme in January. These are the children who will have turned three years old by the end of December. 

Parents wanting to take up a 30 hours place for their child in the January term should apply now and ideally by 30 November to ensure they receive their eligibility code in good time for next term. Not all parents can get a code straight away – HMRC sometimes needs more information to check whether a parent is eligible, for example where the parent has a job offer rather than a record of employment with HMRC. 

Parents who already have a child taking up a 30 hours place also need to confirm their details are up to date every three months. Parents will receive an email notification four weeks and two weeks before this date, reminding them to do so. Parents will need to confirm their details via their online childcare account, which can be found at www.gov.uk/childcareaccount

I would be grateful if you could share these important messages with parents in your constituency, perhaps through your column in the local newspaper, your website or your social media accounts, for example. The new Childcare Choices parent communications toolkit contains materials to help communicate these messages to parents which you may wish to use, including: 

  • social media assets

  • customer journey for 30 hours and Tax-Free Childcare

  • frequently asked questions 

You can access these materials via the stakeholder toolkit link on the Childcare Choices provider webpage or direct at: http://transfer.23red.com/public/files/3x0j-47c7fkfg.

Finally, colleagues will also be pleased to note that on 24 November 2017 Tax-Free Childcare will be rolled out to parents whose youngest child is under six or who has their sixth birthday on that day. Parents can use the childcare calculator to check their childcare options and apply online through the childcare service, which can both be accessed at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

Yours Sincerely, 

Robert Goodwill MP

Minister of State for Children and Families