Childcare

Search for childcare in North Tyneside using our online directory, which is available here   

 

 

Support With Childcare Costs

The Government's Childcare Choices website brings together all the existing childcare offers in one place, so parents can get the help that fits their family.  Some families might be eligible to use more than one childcare scheme.  

 

Eligible parents can use Tax-Free Childcare and the childcare element of Universal Credit against payment for registered childcare, including school-aged childcare.

 

Two year old offer - families receiving additional Government support

Eligible 2 year olds can get 15 hours of free childcare a week, for 38 weeks (a maximum entitlement of 570 hours).  Parents can stretch their entitlement over more than 38 weeks by taking fewer hours per week, at participating providers if they are receiving additional Government support.  Children can take their 2 year old entitlement from the funding period after their 2nd birthday. 

1st April to 31st August birthday - can take up their funded place in autumn term, which begins in September.  

1st September to 31st December birthday - can take up their funded place in spring term, which begins in January.  

1st January to 31st March birthday - can take up their funded place in summer term, which begins in April.  (Please note that this is the case even if the Easter break falls after 1st April).

Check if you are eligible for the 2 Year Old Offer using the Citizen Portal   (see guide to using Citizen Portal in documents below).   You can apply now for a code to access the hours in spring term.  Families must share the code with their chosen childcare provider for verification before they can take up their funded place.     

Non- UK citizen who cannot claim benefits 

If your immigration status says you have ‘no recourse to public funds’, you may still get funded childcare for your 2-year-old. You must live in England and your household income must be no more than:

£26,500 for families outside of London with one child
£34,500 for families within London with one child
£30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
£38,600 for families within London with two or more children

You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.

If you think you are eligible under these criteria you will have to complete a separate application. Please email Eycommissioning@northtyneside.gov.uk with your contact details if you meet the eligibility criteria above.

Related documents

NEW Working Families Entitlement - 9+ Months

From 12th May 2024, eligible working parents of children from 9 months old will be able to register to access 15 hours of government-funded childcare a week.  Eligible working parents are able to apply for the entitlement using the Childcare Choices website. Parents applying for working families entitlement will get an immediate determination of eligibility, HMRC may require further information to make the decision for some parents. Parents should therefore apply in good time.  The offer will begin from September 2024.  Families must apply for an eligibility code by 31st August 2024, if they want to access the funded hours in autumn term 2024.  Parents must provide the code to their childcare provider for verification, before a child can take up their entitlement.  Families must renew their codes to remain eligible for the funding and must have a valid code on 1st September 2024.  Parents will need to reconfirm that their details are up to date through their childcare account every three months (or through their LA for foster parents).  If an eligible child has started a funded placement and the parent subsequently falls out of eligibility, the child will receive a grace period of funding.   

Working Families Entitlement for 2 Year Olds

Eligible working parents in England with children aged 2 years can receive 15 hours of Government funded childcare.

Eligible working parents are able to apply for the entitlement using the Childcare Choices website. Parents must apply the funding term before they wish to access the funded hours.  Parents applying for working families entitlement will get an immediate determination of eligibility, HMRC may require further information to make the decision for some parents. Parents should therefore apply in good time. Children must be attending their childcare place by Thursday 16th May 2024 to receive the funded place in summer term.  Parents must provide their eligibility code to their provider for verification before they can take up their working family entitlement.  Parents will need to reconfirm that their details are up to date through their childcare account every three months (or through their LA for foster parents).  If an eligible child has started a funded placement and the parent subsequently falls out of eligibility, the child will receive a grace period of funding.   

Children can take their 2 year old entitlement from the funding period after their 2nd birthday. 

1st April to 31st August birthday - can take up their funded place in autumn term, which begins in September.  

1st September to 31st December birthday - can take up their funded place in spring term, which begins in January.  

1st January to 31st March birthday - can take up their funded place in summer term, which begins in April.  (Please note that this is the case even if the Easter break falls after 1st April).

From September 2024 , the 15 hours childcare offer will be expanded to eligible working parents in England with children between 9 and 23 months old.

From September 2025, eligible working parents in England with children between 9 months up to school age will have access to 30 hours childcare.  

Find out more about the changes to early years free places here.

Don’t miss out on getting the support you are entitled to, visit the Childcare Choices website.

Families who are not eligible for the new working families entitlement may be eligible for the 2 year old entitlement for families receiving additional Government support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working families entitlement for 3 & 4 year olds

Eligible working families with children aged 3 to 4 years are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week, for 38 weeks of the year (in addition to their universal 15 hours entitlement).

Families apply through the Government’s Childcare Choices website.  

Parents must register for the working families entitlement on the Childcare Choices website the funding period before they want to start taking their entitlement.  The deadlines for applying for funding are as follows:

  • Summer term   Deadline for applications is 31st March
  • Autumn term    Deadline for applications is 31st August 
  • Spring               Deadline for applications is 31st December

Watch this step by step video for information on applying for the working families entitlement.  Most parents will get an immediate decision on their eligibility. HMRC may require further information to make the decision for some parents. Parents should therefore apply in good time.  Parents must provide their childcare setting with the eligibility code for verification, before they can take up their entitlement.  Parents will need to reconfirm that their details are up to date through their childcare account every three months (or through their LA for foster parents).  If an eligible child has started a funded placement and the parent subsequently falls out of eligibility, the child will receive a grace period of funding.   

Eligible children can receive the working families entitlement (3&4 year olds) from the start of the funding period following their third birthday (click here for more details).  A child is only entitled to start their working families entitlement (3&4 year olds) place the term following the child’s third birthday or the term following receipt of a valid eligibility code, whichever is later.  Families are no longer entitled to the working families entitlement when they start full-time education (i.e. reception year at school).

Parents must renew their code to remain eligible. Children starting a new working families (3&4 year old) place MUST have an eligible code on the first day of the funding period: 

  • Summer term     1st April 
  • Autumn term      1st September
  • Spring term        1st January

Eligible parents should continue to apply for, and reconfirm, their eligibility code even if they are not currently accessing their entitlement.  

If you are a parent who is unable to find suitable childcare, please contact EYCommissioning@northtyneside.gov.uk  

 

Working Families Entitlements - Foster Carers

Foster carers can be eligible for the working families entitlements for children in their foster care, providing it is consistent with the child’s care plan and you and your partner (if any) are in paid employment outside your fostering role. Foster parents should apply directly to the responsible local authority to assess eligibility.  You should start by discussing this with your social worker at the earliest opportunity.  Applications must be made the term before you want to access the funded hours.  For foster parents, who are unhappy about decisions made by the local authority, then the foster parents should seek resolution through their social worker or though the local authority complaints process.

Working Families Entitlements - Appeals, compensation claims and complaints to HMRC

Families can ask HMRC to review their working families entitlement application if they disagree with the decision that they are not eligible.  If a parent misses out on a funded working families place, through no fault of their own, they may be eligible for some monetary redress from HMRC. Please note: the parent must have made their application before the termly deadline; and must have paid out for childcare that they would have otherwise have been entitled to for free (i.e. they must meet all other eligibility requirements, such as the child’s age and earnings threshold). If a parent thinks they meets these conditions they should make a complaint by the completing the standard HMRC complaints form or call the childcare service helpline on 0300 123 4097.

Universal 15 hours (all 3 & 4 year olds)

All three and four year olds are entitled to 570 free hours of early education per year, equivalent to 15 hours a week over a minimum of 38 weeks. Children can stretch their entitlement over more than 38 weeks a year.  This means taking fewer hours per week, subject to a maximum of 570 hours during the academic year.  Children can take their 15 hour entitlement the term after their 3rd birthday.   Families should approach their preferred childcare provider directly to arrange their universal 15 hour entitlement.          

A child may access their free place through:

  • nursery schools or nursery classes attached to schools
  • playgroups
  • child care day nurseries
  • private/independent schools
  • childminders

Call 0345 2000 109 for a list of local childcare providers.

Three year olds born between dates shown (inclusive) will be eligible the term following their 3rd birthday:

1st April to 31st August.
The start of the autumn funding period following their 3rd birthday. That is September.

1st September to 31st December.
The start of the spring term funding period following their 3rd birthday. That is January.

1st January to 31st March.
The start of the summer term funding period following their 3rd birthday. That is April. (Please note that this is the case even if the Easter break falls after 1st April).

Information for Parents Accessing Funded Entitlements

Working Families Entitlements

Most parents applying for the working families entitlement will get an immediate determination of eligibility, however HMRC may require further information to make the decision for some parents. Parents should therefore apply in good time.

A parent must reconfirm that their details are up to date through their childcare account every three months (or through their local authority for foster parents) to maintain their eligibility for funded hours.

A child may be able to continue to take-up their free place for a limited period known as the ‘grace period’ after the parent falls out of eligibility for the working parent entitlements, to enable them to seek new employment and regain eligibility. 

A child is only entitled to start their free place, the funding period after the child has turned the relevant age and the child’s parent(s) have met the eligibility criteria and (if applicable) received a valid eligibility code.

 

Charging

Government funding is intended to deliver 15 or 30 hours a week of free, high quality, flexible childcare.  It is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables, additional hours or additional services.

Providers can charge for meals and snacks as part of a free entitlement place and that they can also charge for consumables, and for additional services such as trips and specialist tuition.

Providers, who choose to offer the free entitlements, are responsible for setting their own policy on providing parents with options for alternatives to additional charges. 

Parents can choose to purchase additional hours of provision or additional services, but this must not be a condition of accessing a free place.

Providers must deliver the free entitlements consistently, so that all children within a setting accessing the early years entitlements receive the same quality and access to provision, regardless of whether they choose to pay for optional hours, services, meals or consumables.

Providers must be completely transparent about any additional charges when a parent first takes up their child’s free place, for example, for those parents opting to purchase additional hours or additional services.  Parents should ask about charges before confirming a place.  Parents can use Tax-Free Childcare and the childcare element of Universal Credit against payment for registered childcare. 

Providers cannot:

  • charge parents “top-up” fees (any difference between a provider’s normal charge to parents and the funding they receive from the local authority to deliver free places).
  • require parents to pay a registration fee as a condition of taking up their child’s free place.

Providers can charge a refundable deposit to parents accessing the free entitlements, but providers must refund the deposit to parents in a reasonable timescale.  Providers should make clear to parents any circumstances in which the provider would not be obliged to refund the deposit, for example if a parent fails to take up their place without sufficient notice.

Providers should make their admissions criteria and any fees for consumables, additional hours and services easily available to parents, to enable parents to make an informed choice of provider.

Providers should work with parents so that parents understand which hours / sessions can be taken as free provision.  Not all providers will be able to offer fully flexible places, but providers should work with parents to ensure that as far as possible the pattern of hours are convenient for parents’ working hours.

Providers’ invoices and receipts must be clear, transparent and itemised allowing parents to see that they have received their child’s free entitlement completely free of charge and understand fees paid for additional hours or services.  Invoices and receipts should include the provider’s full details so that they can be identified as coming from a specific provider.

Taking Up a Reception Place

Families cannot take the early years entitlement hours once their child is taking up a full time place in a state-funded school reception class.   or an independent school reception class that is funded by the local authority. 

Parents can choose to continue to take up their child’s free place at a private, voluntary or independent childcare provider or in a school nursery class (if the school allow this) until their child reaches compulsory school age (the term following the child’s fifth birthday), if they choose not to take up their child’s right to a place in a state-funded school reception class in the September following their child’s fourth birthday.

 

Related documents

Choosing Quality Childcare

Choosing high quality childcare can give your child the best start in life, the following suggestions can help you make an informed decision.

  • Contact your preferred provider at the earliest opportunity.  Many settings have waiting lists so it is a good idea to register early.
  • Ofsted monitor the quality of childcare and you can read the latest inspection reports on their website.   
  • Visit the setting. 

Tax-free childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a Government scheme to help working families with their childcare costs.  Eligible parents can use Tax-Free Childcare  against payment for registered childcare, including school-aged childcare.

Parents will be able to open online childcare accounts to pay their registered childcare providers directly. For every £8 parents pay in to these accounts, the Government will add £2, and the total amount in the account can only be spent on childcare. Parents can receive up to £2,000 in Government support per child, per year, or £4,000 for disabled children.

More information is available in the Parent Guide, which can be found in the 30 hour entitlement section.

 

Related documents

Childcare Element of Universal Credit

For working families claiming Universal Credit with children under 17 years of age (who aren't receiving Tax-Free Childcare). 
Up to 85% of eligible childcare costs. The childcare element of Universal Credit can be used against payment for registered childcare,
including school-aged childcare. Find out more here.

Childcare sufficiency

This report below considers whether there is sufficient childcare in North Tyneside.

Related documents

Special educational needs and disabilities

Support to access the free early education and childcare places is available to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  More information can be found in the Support for Children aged 0-5 Years section of the Local Offer.

Early years pupil premium

The Early Years Pupil Premium provides additional funding to providers, to support eligible children in early years settings to access their Government funded early years entitlements.  .  

Disability Access Fund

The Disability Access Funding supports eligible, disabled children’s access to the Government funded early years entitlements.

Complaints About Funded Childcare Offers

If you are not satisfied that your child has received their free place or with any aspect of the way they have received it you can follow the Authority's complaints procedure.