Derbyshire parents encouraged to claim extra free childcare

3 May 2017

Working families across Derbyshire are being urged to check if they are entitled to extra free childcare.

At present all three and four year old children in the county are entitled to up to 15 hours free early education a week.

From September, working families may qualify for double that amount - up to 30 hours a week − so they can work more hours if they want to.

We're encouraging parents who work to check if they qualify for the extra childcare which could save them up to £2,280 a year.

Across Derbyshire it is estimated that more than 8,200 children could benefit from the extra hours.

We're also working with nurseries, pre-schools and childminders to encourage them to offer the extra hours flexibly to meet the needs of working parents.

To be eligible families must meet the following criteria:

  • both parents must be working (or the sole parent in a single parent family)
  • each parent must earn on average at least £120 a week - equal to 16 hours at national minimum or living wage, including those on zero hours contracts
  • each parent does not earn more than £100,000 a year.

Families may still qualify where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, adoption leave or statutory sick pay or if one parent is unable to work because they are disabled or have caring responsibilities.

Even if parents don't qualify for the extra hours they will still be entitled to the universal 15 hours of free early education.

The extra hours are offered by the government and eligibility is assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Check if you can get help with child care costs (opens in a new window).

Our Schools and Learning Service Director Kathryn Boulton said:

"Thousands of children across Derbyshire could benefit from the extra hours.

"It is important that parents of three and four-year-olds check whether they are eligible so they don't miss out on free childcare worth more than £2,000 a year."

If parents have any questions about childcare offered in Derbyshire please email: or tel: 01629 539316 or 01629 532835.