Skip Navigation

30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

30 hours free childcare for working parents of 3 & 4 year olds. See eligibility and apply.

If you're eligible for 30 hours free childcare from September you only have a few weeks left to apply

You must apply and get your eligibility code by 31 August, therefore allow yourself enough time to apply and receive your code. If your code was issued by this date you must take it to your provider on the first day of the September term at the latest. If it was received after you won't be able to claim any extra hours until the next term. 

Apply for 30 hours

Who can get 30 hours free childcare?

All 3 and 4 year olds get up to 15 hours of free childcare per week, and some 2 year olds are also eligible.

The 30 hours free childcare offer is for working families in England with 3 and 4 year old children. Children are eligible from the term following their 3rd birthday until they reach compulsory school age. Parents must be working and each earning at least £120 a week, but no more than £100,000 a year.

You might also be able to get Tax-Free Childcare. If so you can apply for both at the same time.

See GOV.UK for the full eligibility criteria (opens in a new window)

How you can use your 30 hours

Up to 30 hours of free childcare is available for 38 weeks of the year (1140 hours, the same as school terms). Some childcare providers can stretch your entitlement across more weeks by taking fewer hours over each week (e.g 23.75 hours over 48 weeks).

If you're using 15 hours of free childcare, ask your provider if they're offering up to 30 hours from September 2017. Some providers may not be able to offer more hours, or they may only be able to offer a few extra hours. This may be due to places they have available or their opening times.

You can use funding to pay for more than one childcare provider. This could be a nursery and a childminder, or two childminders.

What types of childcare you can use

You can only use the funding with childcare providers registered to access early education funding. This includes:

These also include early education and childcare provision run by schools.

Search for childcare

If you're not using childcare yet, search our Family Information Directory to find childcare. You can filter your search by those offering free early education funding.

Search for childcare

How to apply

If your child is 3 or 4 on 31 August 2017, you can apply now for September 2017.

To apply, you must complete an online form. If you are eligible you will get an eligibility code. You must get your code by 31 August, so allow yourself enough time. If your code was issued by this date you must take it to your provider on the first day of the September term at the latest. If it was received after you won't be able to claim any extra hours until the next term. 

Apply for 30 hours

Reconfirm your eligibility

If you claimed up to 30 hours of free childcare and/or Tax-Free Childcare this term, you must reconfirm your eligibility. You must do this even if your child hasn't started their 30 hours place. You must do this 3 months from the date you applied to receive their extra hours. You must then reconfirm every 3 months.

Find out how to reconfirm your eligibility

Access your childcare account

If you are having trouble accessing your account or cannot recall how to do it, see our guidance on signing into your childcare account. It also explains where to find your eligibility code. 

More information

Find out about:

More information is available on the  Childcare Choices website (opens in a new window). It also includes a childcare calculator to find out how much you could receive.

To find out about fee charging policies*, extra costs, paying for fees, deposits and retainers, speak to your childcare provider. *You need to agree to this when you register. 

 

 

Powered by GOSS iCM
Dorset Feedback icon