All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 free hours per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks.
Some 3 to 4 year olds from working families are eligible for 30 hours free childcare a week. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply for the extra 15 hours a week.
When it is available
You can get it from the term after your child’s 3rd birthday.
|Child's birthday||Start from|
|1 April - 31 August||1 September|
|1 September - 31 December||1 January|
|1 January - 31 March||1 April|
What you need to do
You must take the following to an approved childcare provider:
- proof of your child's date of birth (eg. birth certificate, pasport)
- your proof of residency (eg bank statement, household bill)
Taking the childcare place
- you must take the free childcare at an approved childcare provider
- it stops when your child starts reception class or reaches compulsory school age
You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.
There are other rules about how you can take your entitlement.