Childcare funding support and advice

30 hours childcare for working families with 3 and 4 year olds

30 hours childcare for working families with 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year olds get 15 hours per week of funded childcare.

Some 3 and 4 year olds can have an extra 15 hours per week (570 hours per year).

A government application decides who is eligible.

When to apply

The earliest you can apply is 16 weeks before your child’s third birthday.

The latest you can apply is when your child reaches compulsory school age.

How to apply

You must apply online through the Government Gateway. It should take around 30 minutes to do.

As part of the process you can:

  • check your eligibility for the extra 15 hours per week funded childcare
  • check you will be better off as the extra hours funded childcare might affect how much you get in tax credits
  • make your application

What happens next

If you’re eligible, you will receive a childcare code online which is valid for 3 months. You'll need to give the code to your approved childcare provider.

Taking the childcare place

You must take the funded childcare at an approved childcare provider.

It starts:

  • from the term after you apply following the child's 3rd birthday, if approved by HMRC

 It stops when:

  • your child starts reception class or reaches compulsory school age, or
  • you fail to reconfirm your entitlement every 3 months

You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.

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