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30 hours funded childcare for Foster Carers in Wigan

Children in foster care who are aged 3 or 4 years old may be able to get 30 hours funded childcare.

This is an extra 15 hours on top of the 15 universal hours that all 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to.

Accessing 30 hours will not be appropriate for every child in foster care. This change is to enable working foster parents to access this support where it is right for the child as agreed by their social worker.

If you are eligible, you do not have to take up the full 30 hours.


You will usually be able to get 30 hours funded childcare if:

  • accessing the 30 hours of childcare is consistent with the child's care plan and
  • you (and your partner, if you have one) are working outside your role as a foster parent.

There are no rules about the type of work (which includes self-employment) or number of hours that foster parents must work.

There is no minimum or maximum earnings limit for foster carers (although you must be engaging in paid work). If your partner is not a foster carer they will need to meet the national eligibility criteria.

You will also meet the criteria for working foster parents if:

  • In a two parent household, where both parents are foster carers and one is in paid employment and the other can demonstrate they get qualifying benefits
  • In a two parent household, where one parent is a foster carer but the partner is not a foster carer. The foster carer is in paid employment and their partner meets the ‘normal’ eligibility criteria parents have to meet (income threshold of up to £100,000 and working minimum of 16 hours equivalent to minimum/living wage) or can demonstrate they get qualifying benefits.

How to apply

1. Speak to your foster child's supervising social worker.

You should start to discuss 30 hours childcare as the child approaches their 3rd birthday or when you (or your partner, if you have one) decide to take up additional work. For more information see the section below about when to apply.

These discussions should normally happen as part of your usual supervision meetings and review process.

2. Complete the application form

  • Download it from the right hand side of this page 

The child's supervising social worker should also sign the form and send it to the email address thats on the application form.

You will need to show the social worker evidence that you are in paid employment, such as recent pay slips or a tax return form.

3. Wait for your eligibility code

We will send you an 11 digit code by email to take to your chosen childcare provider.

Your code will have a start date and an end date. You should make a note of the end date as this is when you will need to reconfirm your eligibility.

4. Reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months.

Once you are accessing your 30 hours you willl be sent a re-confirmation form to complete every 3 months.

The child's supervising social worker will also need to sign this form and send it to us. They should be satisfied that the placement is on-going, that accessing the 30 hours is still consistent with the child’s care plan and you are still engaging in paid work outside your role as a foster parent.

We will notify you in advance to allow time for social workers to complete the reconfirmation application.

If you are no longer eligible,  speak to your childcare provider about the 'grace period'.

This is a set period of time to support you to continue accessing funded childcare while you look for other employment should you choose to do so.

When to apply

You can claim 30 hours the term after your foster child turns three.

You can apply up to 16 weeks before your foster child turns three. We recommend that you apply in good time, so that you receive your code the term before your child becomes eligible.

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 your additional hours until the start of the next term.

Child's birthday

When you can access a place

Application signed and submitted by child's supervising social worker by:

1 January to 31 March

1 April

31 March

1 April to 31 August

1 September

31 August

1 September to 31 December

1 January

31 December

Finding childcare

Are you looking for childcare? 

The Family Directory can help you find suitable childcare in your area. You can search by postcode, type of childcare; childminder, private nursery, preschools or school nursery, plus, you can also search for providers who serve before and after school care to schools too. Find childcare near you

Directory Disclaimer

Wigan Council do not carry out suitability checks, we strongly recommended that you always check with providers that their service or activity meets your requirements.  Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this directory, we do not accept any responsibility or liability for any errors that have occurred. There are links within the directory that take you to external websites which are not managed by Wigan Council therefore we have no control of their content.  We offer an impartial service and we cannot recommend or endorse any providers listed.

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