30 hours free childcare

From September 2017, the government is providing 30-hours free childcare for working parents of three and four-year-olds. This will be an additional 15 hours to the Nursery provision that all three and four-year-olds receive.

The Northumberland Church of England Academy will be initially offering this on site at the Josephine Butler Primary Campus and in partnership with NCEA Childminders at Grace Darling and William Leech Campuses.

It is the intention that this service should be available on all campuses within the 2017 – 2018 school year should there be sufficient demand.

The additional 15 hours will be led by graduate Early Years staff from the existing NCEA Early Years team who will offer enrichment activities such as gardening, baking, craft and Forest School experiences each week. This is an exciting development of the Early Years provision at NCEA.


You will be eligible for the 30-hour funded childcare offer if you earn more than the equivalent of 16 hours of the national living wage or minimum wage per week up to a maximum of £100,000 per year.

This applies if you are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract and expect to meet the earning criteria on average over the three months after you have applied for the 30-hours. HMRC will look at data such as your previous earnings to consider whether you are likely to meet the criteria and may contact you for further information if they are unsure

If you are not working but you expect to take up paid work within 14 days, you can still apply for 30 hours, as long as you expect to meet the income criteria over the coming three months.

If you are a single parent and meet the above criteria, you will be eligible for the 30 hours. If you live with a partner, you both must meet the above criteria. This still applies if one of you is not the child’s parent – for example, if you have remarried or have started living with a new partner. If you are separated /divorced from your child’s parent, the eligibility rules will only apply to the parent that the child normally lives with. You will be able to apply for both the 30-hour offer and tax-free childcare using a single application available online here at Childcare Choices.

To complete the application, you will need to provide details such as your name, address and national insurance number, as well as whether you expect to meet the income requirements over the next three months and whether you are in receipt of any benefits. If you live with a partner, you will need to provide the same information for them as well. This will enable HMRC to decide whether your child is eligible for the 30 hours (as well as tax-free childcare).

If you are eligible, you will be given an 11-digit code that you will need to NCEA along with your national insurance number and your child’s birth certificate.

We will then use the government’s eligibility checking system to check the code is valid

You will need to reconfirm your eligibility every three months and will receive a reminder text message or email from the government before the deadline. If you give false information about your eligibility, you could be fined up to £3000.

We look forward to welcoming your child if you meet the eligibility criteria.