Signposting - Childcare - Early Years and Childcare Update April 2017


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Section: Signposting

Subsection: Signposting - Childcare

Early Years and Childcare Update April 2017

The government is introducing two new childcare offers in 2017: Tax-Free Childcare, which will be introduced on 28th April 2017 and gradually rolled out, and 30 hours free childcare, available from September 2017.

To coincide with these new initiatives, the government has launched the [Childcare Choices website], which brings together all the government childcare offers for the first time, helping parents find the right childcare support to suit them.

Tax-Free Childcare:
Tax Free Childcare is an online payment account, topped up by the Government, which parents use solely to pay their childcare costs. For every £8 that families pay in, the Government will make a top-up payment of £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).

Tax-Free Childcare will be available for children under 12 years old (under 17 years old for disabled children) and can be used to contribute towards nursery, childminder and after-school care.

To be eligible, parents must be in work (including self-employment) and each earning at least £120 per week and not more than £100,000 per year. The offer will be introduced to parents with the youngest children first and gradually rolled out so that all parents will be able to apply by the end of 2017.

Childcare providers must have signed up to be able to receive payments from Tax-Free Childcare. You can check which providers in Wiltshire area are ready, using the childcare provider checker: [Child Care Provider Checker]

You cannot use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits.

30 hours free childcare:
An additional 15 hours of free childcare for working parents of 3 & 4 year olds will be available in England from September 2017. This doubles the existing 15 hours currently universally available and could save working families up to £5,000 a year.

Parents will be able to check their eligibility now using the [online childcare calculator] and, if eligible, submit an online application ahead of September. Once signed up, parents will receive an eligibility code to take to their childcare provider. Childcare providers will then check the code with the local authority. If eligible, parents can book their 30 hours place.

Apply now for 30 hours free childcare for 3 to 4 year olds from January 2018. See the poster for further details. You must apply by 31st December 2017 - [click here] to apply.

Disability Access Fund (DAF):
In addition there is an allocation of £0.110m for the new Disability Access Fund to be paid directly to providers for children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance. 3 & 4 year olds will be eligible for the fund if they meet the following criteria:-

  • The child is in receipt of child Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and
  • The child receives free early education.

Settings of 3 and 4 year olds eligible for the DAF will be entitled to receive a one off payment of £615 per year. Children do not have to take up the full 570 hours of early education they are entitled to in order to receive DAF.

For more information please contact the Wiltshire Council Early Years and Childcare team at:

Update August 2017 - To try and make the childcare choices information a bit easier to read and understand, Wiltshire Parent Carer Council have produced some slides that explain the ins and outs of support with childcare costs that you may find helpful. Please click here to take a look.