30 Hours

30 Hours Extended Entitlement for Working Parents

Wigan has been selected as on of the 8 LA’s in the country to pilot the early implementation of the extended entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds. As from September 2016, 415 places will be made available to Wigan’s project.

We are pleased to announce that our school Hindley Sure Start Nursery School has been selected to take part in the pilot project. From September 2016 we will have a limited number of places available for working parents.

The criteria is as follows:


1. The additional 15 hours will be available from September 2016 to parents of three- and four-year-olds where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family), and each parent earns, on average:

  • a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW), and
  • less than £100,000 per year

2. As set out above, a parent will need to be earning the equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum or living wage. At present, the living wage is £7.20 an hour. Therefore, the minimum income requirement for a parent (over the age of 25) is £115.20 a week. The minimum wage for 21 – to 24-year-olds is £6.70 an hour – therefore, the minimum income requirement for this group is £107.20 a week.

3. A parent will be eligible if they expect (on average) to earn this amount over the coming three months. The eligibility criterial have been designed this way to accommodate parents with fluctuating incomes and those who are about to start working or increase their hours.

4. For example, a parent who is on a zero-hours contract will get work some weeks, but not others, and may not know in advance if they will have work in any given week. If, on average they work two weeks out of every three, and when they are working they get 25 hours of work at minimum wage, their child will qualify for 30 hours of free childcare.

5. ‘Parent’ means a person who has parental responsibility for the child or care of the child. In cases where a parent has remarried or is living with a partner, the step-parent or partner must also meet the earnings threshold.

6. Foster carers are eligible for the extended entitlement if they meet the criteria set out above for their own children. Foster carers are not eligible for the extended entitlement for the children that they foster.

7. Working includes employed persons, self-employed persons and parents on zero hours contracts who meet the criteria.

8. Families where one parent does not work (or neither parents works) will not usually be eligible for the extended entitlement. However the extended entitlement will be available where:

  • Both parent are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity or paternity leave.
  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on adoption leave.
  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay.
  • One parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring.
  • One parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.

9. A child and parent must be resident (living) in the Local Authority, as evidenced by the parent’s proof of residency.

At Hindley Sure Start Nursery School we are delighted that our working parents have the early opportunity to participate in the pilot scheme for 30 hours extended entitlement.

We are looking forward to working with the LA and our cluster settings to test out models of delivery and provide real life feedback that will help us to influence the journey as we move forward to September 2017.

Childcare Service  – the online eligibility checking system has now gone live for parents with children up to the age of 4. This means that parents wishing to access the 30 hours free childcare entitlement from September, will now be able to apply using the system. Here is a link to the online Childcare Service: https://childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk/par/app/applynow

Parents must confirm eligibility every term using the link above. A grace period to the end of the term is in place if your circumstances change.


Are you struggling to access your account? If so, please see guidance below for more information.

How parents can access the 30 Hour childcare service

As some of you know, the DfE came to visit our nursery to discuss the 30 hours free childcare.

A video has know been published, click on the link below to view.