Thank you for contacting me about the 30 hours free childcare and the income thresholds for it.
The policy is intended to assist working families who are unable to care for children due to work commitments. As a result, the base requirement for eligibility is for each parent or carer in the household to work at least 16 hours per week at National Living Wage or above. I welcome this support for working families.
£100,000 is the level at which the personal allowance starts to be withdrawn from individuals. Ceasing eligibility at a known threshold is designed to be easily understandable for parents and is simple to check.
The maximum income limit applies to both Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare, and these schemes are designed to help working parents with their childcare costs. For families with two parents, both must be working to meet the criteria. It is therefore reasonable that the income eligibility criteria are applied on a per parent basis.
The childcare market is very mixed, giving parents a wide choice. The Department for Education encourages providers to be flexible in how they offer the free entitlements, although this is not always possible. Parents can split their funded hours by using more than one provider and many providers also have the facility for parents to purchase additional hours, whether a child is receiving 15 or 30 hours.
Local authorities oversee the childcare market in our area, so you can find more advice on the range of local providers from the Family Information Service. You can also find our more information about financial help with the costs of childcare on the Gov.UK website: www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.