Funding Information

All three and four-year olds are eligible for funded Early Years provision for 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. While the current 15-hour scheme is universal the 30-hour scheme is only available to three and four-year olds from working families.

Additional 15 hours

  • Only for 3 and 4-year-old children

  • There is an eligibility criteria for parents to access the extra 15 hours

  • This is NOT a forever offer, you will need to check every 3 months

  • You will receive an email reminder or text message before the deadline from the Government

  • The same rules apply as present:

    • Free at the point of entry

    • Lunch time will be included in the offer but not the lunch itself

    • Packed lunch supplied by you

  • Hours can be accessed between available open times

  • Parents can access provision at a maximum of 2 sites per day but they need to indicate which setting is claiming the universal hours and which the additional hours.

Criteria for the additional 15 hours

  • To qualify for the additional 15 hours of free childcare, each parent (or the sole parent in a single parent family) will have to be in work, and expect to earn on average, at least £120 a week (the equivalent of 16 hours on the national minimum wage) and no more than £100,000 per year.

  • Self-employed parents and parents on zero-hours contracts will be eligible if they meet the average earnings threshold. 

  • Families where one parent is not in paid employment (or neither parent works) will usually not be eligible for these additional hours.

  • Parents who are studying or in training will not be eligible unless this is combined with paid work which meets the minimum average earnings threshold.



  • You check eligibility with HMRC either online or by phone

  • If you are eligible you will be given an 11digit code which will normally be valid for 3 months. 

  • Funding can only be accessed from the term following your eligibility e.g. if you check and are eligible in September, you will not be able to take the funding up until January so you need to apply the term before you want to access childcare. You need to inform us and any alternative provider of your 11 digit code and your NI number the term before you wish your funding to start, so the provider can access funding.

  •  At the moment there is no system in place but parents can provisionally register their interest by logging on here  

  • HMRC will remind the parent to re-confirm their eligibility as their valid period draws to a close. 

  • However, settings will need to confirm the eligibility of all codes online in a similar manner to our current 2YO system, being mindful of valid from dates as no funding is available for parents who do not renew their eligibility.


  • Please note that the parental application is a joint one with Tax Free Childcare and therefore as providers you should use this as a timely reminder to check that you have signed up for Tax Free Childcare 

  • As a Local Authority we are required to audit the eligibility codes to ensure they are all valid and are being checked.


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