Eligibility for 30 hours free childcare

3 and 4 year old children are eligible  for 30 hours free childcare the where their household meets the following eligiblity criteria: 

  • both parents are working or one parent is working in lone parent families. This is defined as earning the equivalent of 16 hours per week on national minimum wage/national living wage, but less than £100,000 per year.  This applies for self-employed and zero hour contracts.
  • both parents are employed but one or both of them are temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave.
  • both parents are employed but one or both of them are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay.
  • one parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring.
  • one parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on specific benefits.
  • Children in the care of or previously in the care of Trafford Council may also be eligible for 30 hours, to arrange this parents / carers should contact their Trafford social worker.

30 hours free childcare can be claimed by eligible families alongside tax credits, universal credit, tax-free childcare and other schemes to help pay for any additional childcare. 


Applying for 30 Hours

HMRC determine eligibility as per the above criteria via the Childcare Choices Service. Eligible families are issued with a 30 Hours Code that must be given to the provider for validation, prior to taking up a place. Information on how to apply is available. You will need to reconfirm your eligibility with HMRC every 3 months.

Receiving 30 Hours 

Children can receive up to 30 hours per week the 1 January, 1 April or 1 September after both of the following conditions are met; (1) the child has turned three (2) the child’s parent / carer has a current positive determination of eligibility from HMRC, i.e. a valid 30 hours code. Children cannot take up a 30 hours place without a valid code or start a new place if their code is in the grace period, your provider will check your code for you.