Childcare funding support and advice

15 hours childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

15 hours childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 to 4 year olds in England can get 570 funded 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 funded 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 start receiving 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, passport)
  • your proof of residency (eg bank statement, household bill)

Taking the childcare place

You must take the funded 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.

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