Enquiries : 01767 641499

Harpers Nursery & Forest School Blunham

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Funding for 3 & 4 year olds

30 hours funded early education for eligible 3 and 4 year olds


From 1 September 2017, the Government will be extending the funded childcare entitlement for eligible working parents of 3 and 4 year-olds, to 30 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. At Harpers we are stretching this offer over the 50 weeks we are open to fully support working parents meaning that you will receive 22hours of funded childcare in total per week across the year.




In order to qualify, both parents must be working (or sole parent in a lone-parent family) and each parent earns on average:


• a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum Wage if aged under 25 or National Living Wage if aged over 25

• less than £100,000 per year


You could still be eligible if you meet one of the following:


• both parents are working (as above) and in receipt of tax credits and/or universal credit

• one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave

• one or both parents are in receipt of statutory sick pay

• one or both parents is employed and one parent is in receipt of carers allowance (or receives the carer element of Universal Credit)

• one parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated (based on specific benefits).


You do not need to work 16 hours per week, but your earnings must equal at least 16 hours work at national minimum wage/living wage. This equates to a minimum income for a parent/carer over the age of 25 of £115.20 a week or for 21-24 year olds of £107.20 a week.


A parent will be eligible if they expect to earn this amount over the coming three months.


Parent means a person who has parental responsibility of the child. In cases where a parent has remarried or is living with a new partner, the ‘step-parent’ must also meet the earning threshold.


Foster carers are only eligible for the extended entitlement for their own children, if they meet the criteria.




If you are eligible for the extended entitlement, you can take up to 1,140 hours funded childcare across the year. This can be taken in the following way at Harpers Nursery and Forest School;


• In 5 hour sessions from 8am to 12.45pm OR 1pm to 5.45pm (inc feedback)

• In 10 hour sessions from 8am to 5.45pm (inc feedback)

• The additional 2 hours can be used as individual hours (subject to weekly availability)

• 2 hours can be used to reduce the fees of a half or full day session


All sessions occur a small charge to cover the cost for meals/snacks and additional services. The additional services are Forest School lessons, cooking and enhanced seasonal topic work.  


We are open Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 6pm therefore if you require more than 30 hours of childcare then these additional hours will incur a charge.


How do I apply?


The additional hours will be available from September 2017. You can apply through HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

If eligible, HMRC will issue a voucher code for you to give to us so we can claim your entitlement.


You will need to re-confirm eligibility every three months via the HMRC. If your situation changes, you will receive notice within six weeks or half a term from HMRC.


During this time, your child will keep the additional hours. Eligibility will be checked again at the end of this period, and if still not eligible, you will no longer receive the additional hours. You can however keep your child at the nursery but you will incur a charge for the non-funded hours until/when/if  your situation changes.