The Government funds Local Authorities to offer free early education places in settings inspected by Ofsted. All 3 and 4 year olds become eligible for the Free Early Education entitlement the term after their third birthday and are entitled to 570 hours of childcare which is 15 hours per week for 38 weeks out of the 52 week year. In addition, from September 2017, 3 and 4 year olds of qualifying, working parents in England may also be able to access a further 570 hours of free childcare; this means 3 and 4 year olds could receive a total of 30 hours free childcare per week over for 38 weeks out of the 52 week year, providing they meet the government eligibility.
To qualify, each parent (or the sole parent in a lone parent family) will need to earn, on average, at least the equivalent of 16 hours on the national minimum wage per week and no more than £100,000 per year. Self-employed parents and parents on zero-hours contracts will be eligible if they meet the average earnings criteria. Families where one parent is not in paid employment (or neither parent works) will usually not be eligible for the additional 15 hours. There are exceptions for parents who are on parental, maternity, paternity, adoption or sick leave. Parents who are studying or in training will not be eligible unless this is combined with paid work which meets the minimum average earnings threshold.
To find out more please visit the Childcare Choices website.
Please note: Whilst we participate in 15 and 30 hours free entitlement to Early Years Education for 3 and 4 year olds this does not guarantee the availability of a place. In addition, Fountain Montessori has specified session choices for parents.
All Fountain Montessori Nurseries are registered for Tax-Free Childcare and will be accepting payments from 1st July 2017.
Tax-Free Childcare is a more accessible alternative to the Employer Childcare Voucher scheme offering tax efficient savings when paying for your nursery fees. Tax-Free Childcare will be open to all qualifying parents, unlike childcare vouchers which can only be bought by people whose employer offers the scheme. It is a scheme by which the government will top up a designated childcare bank account by 20p for every 80p deposited, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure the Tax-Free Childcare payments are set up in line with the terms of the Bright Little Stars Contract.
Tax-Free Childcare can be used alongside the 15 and 30 hours free entitlement to Early Years Education for 3 and 4 year olds and will support families with their childcare costs.
To find out if you are eligible or for more detailed information and how to register, please visit the Government Childcare Service website. Please also see the FAQ (Insert link) in our Parent Information for further terms and conditions.
We accept Childcare Vouchers from employers who offer this benefit to their eligible employees as an e-voucher. Vouchers are non-taxable and exempt from NI contributions for employees, whilst offering NI savings for employers. Both parents are eligible to claim as long as they are both in employment. Nevertheless, the Childcare Voucher scheme will be closed to new users from April 2018 and replaced by Tax-Free Childcare.