30 hours – what’s the score??

May 17, 2019
Andrew Howarth, Director talks childcare funding

So, your child has just turned 3 and you’re wondering about the 30 hours you’ve heard about, so what’s the score?


So the Government’s flagship scheme is an extension of the long-standing 15 hours scheme that has been offered for many years. All 3 and 4 year olds are eligible for the 15 hours per week for 38 weeks a year and all Nurseries offer this to parents. With the introduction of the extended 15 hours from 2017, the Government introduced a means based scheme with the aim of offering more care for more families and this could equate to up to 1140 hours of care for your child just waiting to be accessed.

If you tick the 2 criteria below, you’re good to go:

  • For all parents that are employed in work – or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave
  • each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week – this is £125.28 if you’re over 25

However, should either you or your partner earn over £100,000 per annum, you are not eligible for the extended hours.


The Government was very keen to label the scheme as ‘FREE’ and this indeed has caused massive uproar in the Childcare sector as it is grossly underfunded. However, for the Nurseries that offer the extended hours (it’s optional), the care that they offer to children and families is entirely ‘FREE’, but other elements of the offer are not so, for example, where funding is applied the sessional food costs are extra and potentially some other expenses such as trips or external activities.

How do I apply?

Applying for 30 hours funded childcare is quick and easy, here’s how:

  • First, you’ll need your details (and your partner’s, if you have one), including your national insurance number and unique taxpayer reference, if you’re self-employed. Then, click here to be directed to the government’s online childcare service.
  • You must make the application the term before you wish to start receiving the funding and you can apply up to 16 weeks before your child turns 3. 
  • At this point you’ll be asked to sign into your Gateway account. If you don’t already have one you can register for one quite quickly and this is the service you may use for your personal tax return or VAT submissions already.
  • If your application is successful you’ll be given a nominated childcare account,  but more importantly an11-digit code which you will need to bring to us along with your national insurance number and child’s date of birth.
  • We will then file this number with the Local Authority and they will confirm the validity.
  • We can discuss then with you how you would like to access the funding as sometimes we are able to spread the funding over 52 weeks.
  • You will be reminded via text message or email every three months to reconfirm your eligibility and it’s important that you update us with this code.

Paintpots Nurseries are pleased to offer 30 hours funded childcare for all eligible families. Book a show-a-round one of our nurseries.

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Paintpots Nurseries Group
Paintpots Nurseries serve Manchester and Cheshire with 3 day nursery locations. Conveniently located close to residential and business areas, our nurseries offer your child a superb learning and development environment.
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the little workshop sk1
the little workshop sk1
22:22 01 Nov 19
Wow!!!! Were to begin.. this is by far the best nursery I could have sent my children too. The staff are extremely... friendly helpful and ensure the children are cared for and they learnt so much. My children settled really well and have both enjoyed being here. Seeing them so happy and always excited for the next day at paintpots Manchester makes me feel so at ease leaving them. They are always involving parents in everything and make you feel like one big family. A massive thank you to everyone who works there and all you have done. Looking forward to extending our family into their welcoming nursery again in the future.read more
Kelsey Gervis
Kelsey Gervis
15:20 25 Oct 19
Both my children and Went this nursery would definitely recommend!! Great activities and lovely staff.
Strong Mama
Strong Mama
12:02 10 Oct 19
Lovely nursery. My son went in for 2 days but the staff were great and genuine. Will definitely be returning when I... start my second year of studies next year and my son is 2. Ideal location. Lovely staff. Thank you everyone. You've been greatread more
Italia Rice
Italia Rice
20:55 30 May 19
My child has been here and its absolutely fab! The staff are so good and the pics they send every daybonto my phone... make my day!! Thank you xxread more
15:45 21 Mar 19
Staff seems to be very close to children and that is very important. In addition, the nursery encourage children to... engage in messy and sensory play to learn and develop.read more
mark pearson
mark pearson
05:21 22 May 18
Sent my step-son here for over 2 years before he started school. Perfect location, great staff and most importantly, he... loved it. Only issue was the refurbishment of the building taking place, but they even managed to use that as a learning experience and the kids all loved the builders and diggers opposite!!read more
Megan Davies
Megan Davies
12:41 31 Jan 18
I Sent my little girl here from a small baby and watched her grow in to a confident, bright young lady. I could not... praise and thank the staff here enough, they were like our second family. Very relaxed, friendly, homely environment with the children at the centre of everything they do.read more
James Bradley
James Bradley
12:38 27 Jan 18
I sent my child to this Nursery after having sent his 2 older siblings. I work in the City Centre and they love the... place, they all did. There are staff that have been there for over 10 years, location is fantastic and whilst the recent renovation works have not been ideal, it hasn't affected the care one bit. Somehow, they even find a way to make activities that involve the construction materials. Can't recommend highly enough!!read more
SharQuita Pemberton
SharQuita Pemberton
15:29 27 Mar 17
Best nursery my daughter has attended. Embarrassed to say but due to domestic issues she has been to 4 nurseries. now... that I'm in the clear and can chose any nursery she has started back at this nursery❤️❤️ Kind understanding staff. Very friendly and professional.read more
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