NEG 2, 3 & 4

Parental eligibility 


The government has now launched the Childcare Options website to enable families to access the latest information about the offer for childcare 


Parents can register for updates on 30 hours on this site now. They can also get a provisional idea of whether they are likely to qualify for 30 hours and Tax-Free Childcare using the Childcare Calculator


The graphic below illustrates the process for parental applications for both Tax-Free Childcare and 30-hour free entitlement.  HMRC will have sole responsibility for determining eligibility.

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Eligibility criteria for the 30 hours


The extended free childcare entitlement will be available to parents/carers of 3 and 4 year-olds where:


  • Both parents are working (or sole parent in a lone parent family) & each parent/carer earns on average:
    • a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) (for under 25 year olds) or national living wage (NLW) (if over 25 years old), and
    • less than £100,000 per year


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

Additional Information


  • You do not need to actually work 16 hours per week, but your earnings must equal at least 16 hours work at minimum wage / national living wage. This equates to a minimum income requirement for a parent/carer over the age of 25 of (currently £8.72 per hour, £139.52per week as at April 2020), or for 21- 24 year olds £8.20 an hour – therefore, the minimum income requirement for this group is £131.20 a week)
  • ‘Parent’ means a person who has parental responsibility for the child. In cases where a parent has remarried or is living with a partner, the step-parent or partner must also meet the earning threshold.
  • Foster carers are only eligible for the extended entitlement for their own children (if they meet the criteria); they are not eligible for children that they foster.
  • 30 hours can be taken across any provider to deliver 30 hour places (this is likely to include schools, childminders, private voluntary and independent settings and out of school providers).

For further information on Free Childcare please visit Brent's website for more information:

Free childcare | Brent Council