30 hours childcare for 3 and 4 olds - information for providers

From September 2017 the government has increased the free childcare allowance for eligible working families from (up to) 15 hours to (up to) 30 hours a week. The purpose of the increased childcare is to support working parents with childcare costs.

The 30 hours extended entitlement is designed to support working parents to manage the cost of childcare, support parents into work and enable parents to increase the amount of hours they already work.

Are you ready to deliver 30 hours of free childcare?

In preparation for delivering the extended entitlement, there are a number of key things to consider including:

  • Have you provided parents with information to raise their awareness of the offer to support how they choose provision that best suits their needs?
  • What information do you have about the provision your parents currently access and what they may want as part of the extended entitlement?
  • Do you know what local provision is available for parents? Is it competition or can you work in partnership?
  • Could you work in partnership with other local providers to meet demand? You don't have to deliver the extended entitlement alone, or at all if you choose not to, parents can access the full entitlement across a maximum of 3 providers.
  • Can you use this information to inform your future business practices and/or development and create a model that suits your business while meeting parent’s needs?
  • If children are to be ‘shared’ how can they be best supported to manage settling and transitions? How can necessary information be shared between settings?
  • Could you offer the entitlement over longer daily hours, at a weekend or over the school holidays?
  • Can demand be met within your current capacity or would you need to create additional places?
  • Are these changes feasible?
  • Are there cost implications?

Delivering the 30 hours extended entitlement

  • If you already deliver the universal free entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds and would like to deliver the 30 hours extended entitlement, you don’t need to re-register.
    You will need to complete option 3 which is the annual Provider Agreement.
  • If you are not registered to deliver the free childcare and education for 2 year olds or the universal free entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds and would like to start delivering the funded places, please complete all 3 sections of the online form.
Complete the online form

You can also use the form to:

  • complete the annual provider agreement
  • update your bank details

Frequently asked questions June and July 2017

From the recent funding events and demonstration of the new system, we collected some frequently asked questions and have compiled them below.

If you have any additional questions you feel should be added to this, please email us at:


Funding rate for 2017 to 2018

Both the free entitlement for 3 and 4 year old children and 30 hour free childcare utilise the same funding rates and supplements and are determined by the local Early Years Single Funding Formula (EYSFF).

The funding formulas for the 2017 to 2018 period consists of a base rate of £3.80 (including £0.14 notional SEN).

You can find details formula within the document below:

Elements of the funding are determined, directly or indirectly, by the degree of deprivation (as defined by the National Index of Multiple Deprivation) attached to the postcode of the setting or the domestic residence of children attending the setting.

For information regarding postcodes in areas of deprivation, Children's Centre reach areas and districts please use the below document:

Below is a list of postcodes in the county together with a deprivation rating of the postcode:

Visit the Department for Education (DfE) website for more information.

How do I claim the 30 hours free childcare?

Headcount day information

All early years funding can be claimed on a monthly basis from September 2017. There will continue to be a headcount date on the first month of each of the 3 funding blocks, and it is expected that most children will be claimed for in the month that the main headcount sits. The form will be opened every month following so that providers can add new children or remove children that have left.

For information on headcount dates and the dates that forms will be open, please see the document below:

Registered providers can make their monthly headcount claims by logging into the provider portal and completing their headcount claims. 

If you have any enquiries regarding the provider portal and the headcount claims, please view the frequently asked questions document below:

Please use the below guidance document for information on how to use the provider portal:

Other information regarding funding claims will be made available in the Early Years Bulletin.

Validating 30 hour free childcare eligibility

Once the system is operational there will be a simple online eligibility checker similar to that currently used to check eligibility for funded hours for 2 year olds.

Parents will have to reconfirm their eligibility on a three-monthly basis. If their circumstances alter and they are no longer eligible then there will be a short grace period before the child’s funding ends in order to help the child, family and provider to manage the change.

Parental declaration

Below is the parental declaration that acts as the contract between the family and the provider of the free childcare for 2 year olds, the free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds and 30 hours free childcare.

Please note: The privacy notice must be viewed by the parent or ​carer before they sign the parental declaration.

If you require assistance regarding the parental declaration, please do not hesitate to contact us at:


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