Key workers will still get 30 hours of free childcare even if they work fewer hours in coronavirus outbreak


The Government today announced the boost for parents which will see them continue to get help even if their income plummets because of the pandemic.

It means key workers can still rely on the childcare support

All working parents usually eligible for 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare will remain able to get it.

Parents who are critical workers will also remain eligible for these entitlements if their income has increased over the maximum threshold during the pandemic.

Minister for Children’s and Families Vicky Ford said: “Juggling the demands of work and childcare is never easy for parents, and now more than ever they have our full support.

“Nurseries, childminders and all our early years settings are working hard to continue offering safe and high-quality childcare places for critical workers and parents of vulnerable children.

“No parent whose income falls as a result of this virus should lose their eligibility for free childcare at this time.”

The temporary fix will ensure critical workers can continue to access the childcare they need to enable them to work, with the scheme then being reviewed in the Summer.

The 30 hours deadline for the summer term has also been extended to August 31 to give working parents additional time to protect their place.

In March the Department for Education (DfE) had assured childcare providers they would continue to receive the payments they receive from the Government’s policy of providing up to 30 hours of free childcare per child.

Its guidance also told Britain’s 24,000 nurseries that they would also be able to furlough staff on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which covers 80 per cent of wage costs.

To apply you need to open a government account, which can then be used to pay your provider.

You’ll need your details (and your partner’s, if you have one), including:

  • National Insurance number
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re self-employed

You can pay your provider once the money is shown as “available funds”.

It can take up to three working days for the money to reach your provider’s account so you’ll need to get organised before your payment is due.

When you apply you’ll also find out if you’re eligible for 30 hours of free childcare.

It can take up to seven days to get this information.