Free Early Education and Childcare for 3 and 4 Year Olds
In England all 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to up to 15 hours of free early education and childcare for up to 38 weeks a year. This is to give children opportunity to take part in planned learning activities, and help prepare them for school. This is a universal offer and is available to all children regardless of their family circumstances. Funding is available the term after your child is 3
Since September 2017 the government have increased the number of funded hours for 3 and 4 year olds from 15 to 30 a week. However, this will only be made available to families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) and each parent earns, n average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at National Living wage and less than £100,000 per year
The extended 15 hours of funding the Government are introducing in September 2017 is a little misleading for parents. The 30 hours does not offer parents free childcare. It offers 30 hours of funded childcare. so if your child attends a setting for more than 30 hours it is possible you will incur a charge for the extra hours.
Applying for 30 Hours Childcare
Once you have applied for your extended funding you'll receive a 30 hours eligibility code, your unique 11-digit reference number. Without this code you won't be able to claim your 30 hours of childcare funding.
When you have the code we will need you to complete and sign a form giving us permission to confirm your eligibility and access the funding. To complete the form you will need your National Insurance Number and your child's date of birth.
Reconfirming Your Eligibility
Every 3 months you will need to confirm your eligibility. You will be reminded to do this 4 weeks before the deadline.
It is essential parents/carer's check their eligibility and obtain eligibility codes. You can apply and check eligibility codes at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
To look for local childcare