Government childcare eligibility offers protected

Children’s and Families Minister Vicky Ford has announced that parents who are normally eligible for the government’s childcare offers will continue receiving the entitlements during the summer term if their income levels fall due to the impact of coronavirus.

Any working parent usually eligible for 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare will remain eligible if they fall below the minimum income requirement due to the virus. Parents who are critical workers will also remain eligible for these entitlements if their income has increased over the maximum threshold during the coronavirus pandemic, although this remains subject to parliamentary approval.

This temporary flexibility will ensure critical workers can continue to access the childcare they need to enable them to work. These arrangements will be reviewed over the summer.

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. That’s why we are confirming that anyone who was previously eligible should remain so. I am also asking local authorities to extend the validity of 30 hours codes of any parents who have missed their chance to reconfirm. This will help smooth the transition period when settings reopen.”