Back to all posts

Articles

Childcare support extended to children over nine months

The government is extending the provision of 30 hours of free childcare for 38 weeks to now include all pre-school children over the age of nine months. Phased introduction The extended childcare provision will be of benefit to parents with... Read more

12 Apr 2023

By Clair Dart

The government is extending the provision of 30 hours of free childcare for 38 weeks to now include all pre-school children over the age of nine months.

Phased introduction

The extended childcare provision will be of benefit to parents with newborns ­– or those planning a family – but parents with children currently aged one or two years old will not see the full benefit of the changes because of the phased introduction of the support:

From Free childcare extended to Amount of childcare
April 2024 Children aged two years 15 hours
September 2024 Children aged nine months to two years 15 hours
September 2025 30 hours

Children can take up their childcare place in the term after they meet the age requirement (subject to having received a code to give to the childcare provider), with terms typically beginning on 1 January, 1 April and 1 September.

To be eligible, both parents must work at least 16 hours a week at the National Minimum/Living Wage, and neither can earn more than £100,000 a year.

Challenges and shortfalls

Government-funded childcare entitlement is currently only available for a total of 1,140 hours a year, which works out to 30 hours over 38 weeks, so the new rules may spur some adjustments by children providers.

  • Providers may simply offer fewer hours a week to stretch the funded hours over the whole year; or
  • They may provide 30 hours for the whole year with parents paying for the shortfall of unfunded hours.

In theory, the changes will help parents who want to go back to work but finding an available childcare space will likely continue to be problematic, even with the September 2023 child-to-staff ratio increase from four to five. Many nurseries are encountering financial difficulties, and the childcare extension will mean providers cannot make up shortfalls by charging more for younger children.

There are different schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Government guidance on help with paying for childcare can be found here.

Related content

Share:
Key information +-

THE AUTHOR

More & Other Musings

View all related content

NEW Guides & Publications29 Nov 2023

Tax Tables 2024/25

Tax rates are often changing, especially after a Budget or Spring Statement. Here you can download a handy and printable tax table PDF

Click to find out more

NEW Guides & Publications23 Nov 2023

Autumn Statement 2023

The Autumn Statement 2023 was delivered by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on 22 November. Our summary condenses his 110 different proposals into one concise report of the key points

Click to find out more