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The Working Parents Entitlement

Starting from April 2024, existing childcare support will be expanded in phases. By September 2025, most working families with children under the age of 5 will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare support.

From April 2024, eligible working parents of 2-year-olds will be able to apply for 15 hours childcare support.

From September 2024, eligible working parents of 9 month olds will be able to apply for 15 hours childcare support.

From September 2025, eligible working parents of children aged 9 months to the age of 5 will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare a week.

Families can sign up for more details about the upcoming expansion from April 2024, as well as how and when to register for support with childcare costs on the Childcare Choices website

A child can start their childcare place the term after they are eligible and have received a valid eligibility code, whichever is later. Term start dates are 1 September, 1 January and 1 April.

To keep their 15 or 30 hours childcare place parents will need to check their details are up to date every three months.

Please see our FAQ document (PDF, 141.6 KB) for any questions you may have relating to this new entitlement.

Eligibility criteria
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From 12 May 2024, eligible working parents of children between 9 months and 4 years will be able to apply to HMRC for 15 hours of childcare. Parents have until 31 August to apply for a code, with the best time in mid-June to the end of July, in case they need to provide further information to support their application.

To apply each parent needs to be working and earning the equivalent of 16 hours a week at national minimum or living wage and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year. This means that each parents need to earn from just over £8,600 per year to be eligible for 15 hours a week of childcare during term time.

Once confirmed as eligible HMRC will issue an 11 digit eligibility code per child. Parents will need to take the eligibility code to their chosen provider to secure a funded place.

More information on the range of childcare support available to parents can be found in the Childcare Choices toolkit. There is also a handy eligibility checker on the Childcare Choices website which parents can use to find out how they can save money on their childcare.

Please note: If a parent applies more than three months before the start of the new term they will need to reconfirm their details to ensure they are still eligible.

Synergy Provider Portal
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Please use the link below to access the provider portal:

Summer Terms 2024
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Providers are able to submit an estimate for any 2 year olds on The Working Parents Entitlerment.

Estimate

Headcount

KCC is following an intrim payment process for Summer Terms 2024,  funding will be paid in line with the existing payment dates for 3&4 year olds, as listed on the PVI Calendar.

PVI Calendar 2023/24
(PDF, 181.5 KB)

KCC will publish new payment schedules for all entitlements from Autumn Terms 2024 in due course.

Validating codes - eligibility checker
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Providers must validate all eligibility codes with Management Information prior to securing a funded place and submitting a funding claim.

To validate an 11 digit code and establish eligibility for the entitlement, submit the form below and Management Information will complete a check and inform you of the result by email.

Submit a working parents eligibility check

Parental declaration form
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A parental declaration form must be signed by the parent before any funding claim can be made.

Funding Calendar and Payment Schedule
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Year 2023/24

Year 2024/25

Kent Provider Agreement
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The first few years of a child's life is crucially important to their development. Kent County Council are working with providers across the county to make Free Early Education and Childcare for 9 months to 4 year olds easily accessible. The Kent Provider Agreement provides a framework which outlines the mutual commitments on delivering the entitlements.

We have updated our Kent Provider Agreement to reflect the changes in the statutory guidance published by the Department of Education. Please log in to your FIS Provider Portal to sign the latest version of the agreement.

Please note, you must sign the Kent Provider Agreement to claim Free Early Education and Childcare funding from summer terms 2024 onwards.

Children in foster care
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Children in foster care may be eligible for The Working Parent Entitlement, providing they meet the age criteria and two additional criteria: that this is consistent with the child’s care plan and the foster parent is taking up paid employment outside of their fostering role. Foster carers must speak to the child’s social worker and complete the Working Parent Entitlement application form below