Bishop of Durham asks about funded early education for families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 21st December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government how many children subject to No Recourse to Public Funds conditions are in receipt of 15 hours a week of free early education available to disadvantaged three and four year-olds, but would be eligible for the 30 hour entitlement if not subject to NRPF.

Baroness Barran (Con): All parents are eligible to claim up to 570 hours of free early education per year, which is usually taken as 15 hours per week over 38 weeks of the year. This is available to all three and four-year olds, regardless of family circumstances, including those whose families have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).

Working parents of three and four-year-olds may also be eligible for an additional 15 hours of free childcare, also known as 30 hours free childcare, subject to both minimum and maximum earnings thresholds. Parents must earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum/living wage, currently just over £7,900 per year, and their adjusted net income must be under £100,000.

In a two-parent family both parents must meet these thresholds, unless one partner receives certain benefits (Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance). In a single-parent household the single parent must meet the threshold. Parents with NRPF are not eligible for this entitlement.

The department does not hold data on the number of children whose parents have NRPF who are currently taking up the universal 15 hour early education entitlement. This means it is not possible to ascertain how many would be eligible for the extended 30 hour entitlement were they not subject to NRPF.


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