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Latest figures: Who is eligible for 30 hours?

The government estimates that 390,000 (42%) of 3- and 4-year-olds will be eligible for the 30 hours entitlement that is due to launch in September.

They have also provisionally estimated from the Survey of Personal Incomes and the Family Resources Survey that, of those currently in receipt of the 15 hours free entitlement, approximately 520,000 will not be eligible for the additional 15 hours. The reasons for ineligibility are broken down into the following:

  1. One or both parents not in work (77%)
  2. One or both parents earning below the minimum threshold (21%)
  3. One or both parents earning above the maximum threshold (2%)

The additional 15 hours is an entitlement to support parents in work and to encourage more parents to get back into work. While these figures give an overall national picture, these are based on averages which means there could be huge regional variations. These figures are also likely to change once the policy is rolled out in September.

It is important to remember that all 3- and 4-year olds are entitled to the 15 hours a week universal early education entitlement, regardless of whether their parents are in work. The most disadvantaged two year olds are also entitled to 15 hours a week of funded early education. Lower income parents who do not meet the income criteria for 30 hours may be able to claim up to 70% of their childcare costs through tax credits, or 85% of their childcare costs through the childcare element of Universal Credit.

For more information on the 30 hour entitlement, visit our FAQ page.