Eligibility for 30 funded hours for working parents

You may be eligible if:

Both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) and each parent earns on average:

  • A weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW), and less than £100,000 per year.

  • At present the living wage is £7.83 an hour. Therefore, the minimum income requirement for a parent (over the age of 25) is £125.80 a week. The minimum wage for 21-24 year olds is £7.38 an hour – therefore the minimum income requirement for this group is £118.08 a week.


Families where one parent does not work (or neither parent works) will not usually be eligible for the extended entitlement EXCEPT where:

  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity or paternity leave, adoption leave or on statutory sick pay.

  • One parent is employed and one parent either has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring, or is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.

The definition of ‘working’ will include employed and self-employed persons and parents on zero hours’ contracts who meet the criteria. Many parents have irregular working patterns and the government has designed the extended entitlement to be flexible enough to accommodate these.


Additional Criteria

The person applying for the childcare (usually the parent, but could be their partner) is ‘resident in the UK’.

Parent means a person who has parental responsibility for the child or care of the child. In cases where a parent has remarried or living with a partner, the step-parent or partner must also meet the earnings threshold.


Applying for the offer

You can check your eligibility on the HMRC website at the link below:


You would need to apply for your code the term before you wish to claim for the 30 hours i.e. for a September start you would need to apply by 31st August.


This information is correct as of  July 2018.