childcare funding

15 hours free childcare & 30 hours childcare 

The government and local authorities have introduced a number of different funding options and support for families with their childcare costs. It can sometimes lead to a little confusion about what your family may be entitled to but fear not! We have a number of documents below that will set out the different funding available and the eligibility criteria.

15 hours  childcare

2 Year Olds

Am I eligible?

To be able to take up 15 hours of free early education for your two-year-old you must meet the eligibility criteria. Please visit GOV.UK- external link for further information.

Where can I use it?

It's available at participating:

  • Full day care (e.g nurseries)

  • Schools

  • Childminders

  • Sessional providers (e.g. playgroups)

  • Sure Start Children's Centres

From 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child’s 2nd birthday.

3 & 4 Year Olds

Am I eligible?

15 hours of free childcare is available for all families in England. 

Where can I use it?

It's available at participating:

  • Full day care (e.g nurseries)

  • Schools

  • Childminders

  • Sessional providers (e.g. playgroups)

  • Sure Start Children's Centres

  • After school clubs

From 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child’s 2nd birthday.

30 hours childcare

3 & 4 Year Olds

Am I eligible?

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £139 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). 

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

You can't get 30 hours free childcare if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more.

When can my child start?

Your child can start in their childcare place the term after they turn 3 years old and have received a valid 30 hours code, whichever is later. Term start dates are 1st September, 1st January and 1st April.

To keep your 30 hours free childcare place you need to check your details are up to date every 3 months.

Where can I use it?

It's available at participating:

  • Full day care (e.g nurseries)

  • Schools

  • Childminders

  • Sessional providers (e.g. playgroups)

  • Sure Start Children's Centres

  • After school clubs

Please view the step by step guide on how to use 30 hours free childcare

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