Funding for Childcare
Free childcare for 2 year olds
Free Early Education for Two year olds (FEET) offers eligible families up to 15 hours of free early education and childcare a week for 38 weeks a year.
If your family receives one of the following benefits then your child may be eligible to claim FEET. Once your child has been agreed for FEET they will continue to be funded even if your family does not meet the criteria at a later date.
- Income Support
- Income based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit and have an annual income under £16,190 before tax
- Working Tax Credit and have an annual income under £16,190 before tax
- Working Tax Credit 'run-on' – the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit and have an annual net earned income not over £15,400
Claiming FEET does not affect your benefits, but if you are using the childcare element of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit you can only claim for any care over and above the 15 hours. If you were using the childcare element before claiming FEET and you do not change your hours you may need to contact HMRC so they can adjust their payments to you. They can be contacted on 0345 300 3900.
You do not have to live in Surrey to apply but you will need to take your free hours at a childcare provider in Surrey. If the childcare you use is in a London borough or neighbouring council you will need to contact that area's Family Information Service to apply for the funding.
If you meet the eligibility criteria and are using a Surrey childcare provider you can apply for FEET by completing the Surrey FEET Application Form (pdf) and sending it to the address given on the form.
Free childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds
In England all three and four year olds are entitled to up to 15 hours of free childcare and early education a week for up to 38 weeks a year. This is to give children the opportunity to take part in planned learning activities, and help prepare them for school through the early learning goals set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is a universal offer and is available to all children regardless of their family circumstances.
The government has now increased the free hours from 15 to 30 a week. However, this is only available to families 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.
Introduction of 30 hours funded childcare for children in foster care:
The Government have just introduced an extension to the new 30 hours funded childcare scheme so that in September 2018 some 3 and 4 year olds in foster care will be able to access additional hours with a childcare provider. Please be aware that for the first term only (September to December) we will process applications received at any point within the term - however funding will only be offered from when the application from the date it has been agreed and cannot be back dated. From the spring term (January to March) applications will need to be received by 10th December 2018 to be offered funding from January 2019. Applications for summer term funding (April-August) will need to be submitted by 18 March 2019 to be offered funding from April 2019.
For more information click here.
The government is introducing new ways to help parents with childcare costs.
Whether you have toddlers or teens, you could get support.
Please click on this link to find out whether you are eligible to apply for help with childcare costs.