30-hour free childcare – pilot scheme launch

The government is committed to delivering 30 hours of free childcare to hard working parents of three and four year olds by 2017.

From September this year, parents across eight UK councils (Wigan, Staffordshire, Swindon, Portsmouth, Northumberland, York, Newham and Hertfordshire) will pilot the scheme and benefit from extra hours of childcare a year early.

So how will it work?

Currently, three and four year olds (and disadvantaged two year olds) receive 15 hours of free childcare as standard. The additional 15 hours, making it 30 in total, will only be available to families where both parents are employed.

You’ll have to apply for each of the 15 hours separately. The existing 15 hours will be supplied by your local authority and childcare provider, as normal.  Applications for the additional 15 hours will go through a new system being developed by HMRC.

We look forward to seeing the results of the pilot scheme and will keep you updated as things develop.