With significant changes to childcare funding taking effect in 2024, more eligible working parents across England will now be entitled to childcare support. The UK government has announced that from September 2024, all eligible working parents can access 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be offering funded places for working families here at Stepping Stones.
The current offering has meant that families who have children aged between 9 months and 2 year olds are not entitled for any childcare funding. However, the introduction of this new offer means the 15 hours of free childcare for 9 month olds will start immediately after maternity or paternity leave ends, giving even more working families access to this crucial funding and allowing parents to go back to work.
Depending on your childcare provider, you can use your 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds over 38 weeks of the year, or spread the funding throughout the year. If you’d like to discuss your options at Stepping Stones, be sure to contact us today.
From September 2025, all eligible working families with children aged 9 months and over will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare funding per week, and the UK government plans to introduce these new childcare support offerings in phases to ensure providers can meet the needs of more working parents across England.
You might be wondering who is eligible for the new childcare changes in 2024 and how you can apply for this funding. Keep reading as we answer these important questions below.
The eligibility criteria for 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds is all about how much you earn, not the amount of hours you work. It applies to parents or carers in dual-parent households, as well as single parents or carers in a lone-parent household. Each parent must:
Apprentices will also be eligible, so long as you earn the equivalent of 16 hours on the apprentice minimum wage. Self-employed workers and zero-hour contract workers will also be eligible, if you also expect to meet the average earning criteria over the next three months.
If you’re unsure you’re eligible for the new childcare support, you can check online.
Working families can apply for the new childcare funding by completing a simple online form on the gov.co.uk website. Before you get started, ensure you have the follow information to hand:
If you are eligible and you’ve successfully completed the form, you’ll be given an 11-digit code. You’ll need to provide this code to your childcare provider, like Stepping Stones, when applying for your child’s space. Your provider will also need your national insurance number and your child’s birth certificate.
At Stepping Stones, our purpose-built facility consists of well-equipped nursery rooms, playrooms and four outdoor spaces. We have been providing childcare for families for over two decades and our fully-trained team take a tailored approach to every child to ensure they learn and grow successfully.
If you’re ready to claim your 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds, complete the above form today to begin the process of applying for your child’s funded space in September!
for funded spaces in September 2024!