30 Hours funding for Children in Foster Care

Children in foster care are eligible for 30 hours childcare where the foster carer meets certain eligibility criteria, giving foster families the same support as other families where it is right for the child.

Children in foster care will be able to receive 30 hours free childcare if the following criteria are met:

  • Accessing the Extended hours is consistent with the child’s care plan and
  • In single parent foster families, the foster parent engages in paid work outside their role as a foster parent
  • And in two parent foster families, partners engage in paid work outside their role as a foster parent. If one partner is not a foster parent, then they must be in qualifying paid work and earn a minimum of the equivalent to 16 hours per week at national minimum/living wage

There is no requirement on the type of work or number of hours that foster parents must work in order to access the 30 hours and there is no minimum earnings limit (although they must be engaging in paid work). The maximum income threshold is £100,000.

How to apply

The Childcare Service are unable to perform the additional eligibility checks required, the foster carer must apply through the responsible local authority, the authority who is looking after the child.

Foster carers caring for a child where Warwickshire is the responsible authority:

  • Contact Fostering Business Support for an application form, email: fosteringbusinesssupport@warwickshire.gov.uk
  • When the application form is completed, it must be signed by the child’s Social Worker to confirm taking up 30 hours meets the child’s care plan
  • Evidence of paid income outside of the role of foster caring must be included with the application for example, payslip, P60, tax return for the self-employed.
  • The application should be returned to Fostering Business Support email: fosteringbusinesssupport@warwickshire.gov.uk to arrange for it to be countersigned by Warwickshire’s Designated Officer from the Fostering Team.
  • The fully completed application is sent to the Early Years Entitlements Team by the fostering team to issue the 30 hour code email: eyfunding@warwickshire.gov.uk
  • Once confirmed, the Early Years Entitlements Team will email the foster carer with details of the 30 hour code.
  • The 30 hour code, starting with 400, is treated in the same way as a standard code.
  • The 30 hour code must be re-confirmed every 3 months with the issuing local authority. To re-confirm the code, the foster carer will need to contact Fostering Business Support email: fosteringbusinesssupport@warwickshire.gov.uk to arrange checks to confirm that the foster carers continue to meet the criteria.

When to apply

  • You can claim 30 hours the term after your foster child turns three or the term after the 30 hour code is issued, whichever is the later.
  • We recommend that you apply at least 6 weeks before the end of the term before your foster child becomes eligible, to make sure the code is received in time.
  • If you do not confirm your eligibility and receive an 11 digit code by the date listed below, you will not be able to access 30 hours until the start of the next term.
Timeline for childcare applications
Child's birthday 3rd birthday When you can access a place Application agreed by
1st January to 31 March Summer Term after 1st April 31st March
1st April to 31 August Autumn Term after 1st September 31st August
1st September to 31 December Spring Term after 1st January 31st December

Foster Carers must apply for a 30 hour code for their own children through the government’s Childcare Choices website.

Where to get help:

Fostering Business Support Email - fosteringbusinesssupport@warwickshire.gov.uk

Early Years Entitlements Team Email - eyfunding@warwickshire.gov.uk