Childcare funding

What is Funded Early Education Entitlement (FEEE)?

All children are entitled to 15 hours funded childcare for 38 weeks a year from the term after their 3rd birthday. You can discuss how your child can access their funded entitlement with you childcare provider

Some children may be eligible for an additional 15 funded hours depending on whether parents/carers meet certain financial eligibility criteria. Find out more at https://eycp.essex.gov.uk/funding/30-hours-extended-entitlement/

FEEE2 can be accessed for 15 hours 38 weeks a year, subject to meeting eligibility criteria the term after the child’s 2nd birthday.

Changes to FEEE coming soon

From April 2024, eligible working parents of 2-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours of support with childcare from the term after they are 2 years old (the term after their 2nd birthday).

From September 2024, 15 hours of support with childcare will be extended to eligible working parents of children from the term after they are 9 months old.

From September 2025, eligible working parents of children will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare a week from the term after their child is 9 months old.

Like the existing offer, depending on your provider, these hours can be used over 38 weeks of the year, or up to 52 weeks if you use fewer than your total hours per week. This is known as a stretched offer.

Universal Credit, Tax credits, Tax-Free Childcare what are they?

Universal Credit

Universal credit is currently replacing other benefits and tax credits including: Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Working Tax Credit.  

If your circumstances change or you receive a letter called ‘migration notice’ you must move to universal credit within 3 months to keep getting financial support.

Further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Tax Free Childcare

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

If you get Tax-Free Childcare, you’ll set up an online childcare account for your child. For every £8 you pay into this account, the government will pay in £2 to use to pay your provider.

You can get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 30 hours free childcare if you’re eligible for both.

What can you use Tax-Free Childcare for?

You can use it to pay for approved childcare, for example: childminders, nurseries and nannies as well as after school clubs and play schemes.

Your childcare provider must be signed up to the scheme before you can pay them and benefit from Tax-Free Childcare.

Find out more at: https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs

If your child has a disability

You can use the extra Tax-Free Childcare money you get to help pay for extra hours of childcare. You can also use it to help pay your childcare provider so they can get specialist equipment for your child such as mobility aids. Talk to them about what equipment your child may get.

Eligibility

Your eligibility depends on: whether you’re working (employed, self-employed, or a director), your income (and your partner’s income, if you have one), your child’s age and circumstances and your immigration status.

You can find out further details at: https://www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare#content

There is more information on the Family Information Service website https://www.essex.gov.uk/children-young-people-and-families/early-years-and-childcare/family-information-service or alternatively please contact fis@essex.gov.uk


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