To access the childcare element of the Offer parents and guardians must:

  • Permanently reside in RCT (if you reside in another LA in Wales, please go to their website for further information on how to apply);
  • Be employed or self-employed.  Both parents/co-habiting couples must be working in a two parent family, or the sole parent in a lone parent family;
  • Earn a weekly minimum equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW) [this varies according to age, for information, please refer to], and each parent must earn no more than £100,000 per year;
  • Parents who are temporarily away from the workplace either because of sickness, or because of parental leave (including maternity leave, statutory shared parental leave or adoption leave) will remain eligible to receive the offer as they are considered to be employed.

Where parents have separated but do not share equal custody of the child, the parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the offer (if they meet the eligibility criteria). Where parents share equal custody one parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the offer.

Parents, guardians, step-parents and live-in partners will all need to meet the eligibility criteria in order for a child living within that household to be able to take up the offer.

What happens if I or my partner loses our job?
Should a parent fall out of eligibility, a temporary exemption period (TEP) of 8 weeks will be granted during which time they will be able to continue to access the offer.

Exceptions to eligibility:
Where one parent meets the eligibility criteria and the other parent is in receipt of one of the following benefits, that child will still be able to access the offer:

  • Incapacity benefit
  • Carers allowance
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Long term incapacity benefit
  • Employment and support allowance
  • National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or limited capability for work

Families where both parents are in receipt of the above benefits will not be able to access the offer.

Family and friends carers (also known as Kinship carers) are those who have taken responsibility for a child or step-child who is not their own because:

  • The child has no parents or has parents who are unable to care for the child;
  • It is likely that the child would otherwise be looked after by a local authority because of concerns in relation to the child’s welfare

Kinship carers can access the offer as long as they meet the earnings criteria to be classed as ‘working’, live in RCT and are caring for a child who is the correct age to receive the offer.