Working parents who receive support from the Government’s coronavirus schemes will still be eligible for childcare support, even if their income falls below the minimum threshold requirement.
From Sunday 1st November, The Government has confirmed that eligible working parents receiving support through the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue to receive their childcare entitlement, even if their income temporarily falls below the threshold. This is to include the 30 hours offer and Tax-Free Childcare.
It comes as official statistics show a rise in children’s attendance at nurseries, preschools and childminders – currently sitting at around 86% of pre-pandemic levels.
Vicky Ford, Children and Families Minister, had this to say:
“This Government is increasing the safety net available to families, protecting working parents and our dedicated early years sector. This has been our constant priority, which is why I am so pleased to see attendance rates rising, as more parents return to work and take up the formal childcare arrangements they used before Covid-19 struck.”
“It’s testament to the hard work of early years professionals that these numbers are returning to what we would have seen before the pandemic.”
The new JSS and the extension of the SEISS have been launched as a replacement of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which ends this coming Saturday (31st October).
The Department of Education has seen over 600,000 parents either apply or reconfirm their 30 hours places since March this year. The minimum income threshold for 30 hours free childcare and Tax-Free Childcare is usually equal to 16 hours per week at the national living wage.
In response to current challenges, parents who were previously eligible, but have seen a decrease in income due to the pandemic will still have access to this support.
The Government has also looked to provide extra security to nurseries and childminders by ‘block-buying’ places for the rest of 2020 at the level that would have been funded before the pandemic.
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