All families can currently claim up to 15 hours a week of free funded childcare or early education for 3 and 4 year old children. Working parents may be able to claim additional hours to support with childcare costs.
Am I eligible for the additional hours?
The additional hours can be claimed if you
meet the eligibility criteria.
When should I apply for the additional hours?
You need to apply for a code from HMRC before the start of the term your child will be eligible.
Date of child's third birthday||Date you need to apply by||Date child becomes eligible for the 30-hour entitlement (if parents have had eligibility confirmed)|
|1 January to 31 March||31 March*||Start of term beginning on or following 1 April|
|1 April to 31 August||31 August*||Start of term beginning or following 1 September|
|1 September to 31 December||31 December*||Start of term beginning or following 1 January|
*Please allow time for HMRC to process your code and for your provider to validate it. The 30 hour code application deadlines have been set by the Department for Education. We recommend that you apply at least three weeks before the deadline date, in case of any delays when receiving your code.
Your childcare provider may have set their own deadline for validating 30 hour codes prior to the beginning of each term. This is particularly the case for funded places beginning in September with providers who are closed for the Summer holidays. Please talk to your childcare provider about when to provide them with your 30 hour code, in order to ensure your child will receive the funding.
A valid eligibility code must have been received from HMRC prior to accessing the additional hours.
How do I apply for the additional hours?
You can apply via the GOV.UK site below.
Do I need to re-apply?
You must confirm your details are up to date every 3 months or your code will expire and funding for your additional hours will stop.
You can do this on the
Where can my child take up their childcare?
You can access the free entitlement at most OFSTED registered childcare providers. These include:
- Private day nurseries
- Pre-school playgroups
- Maintained nurseries
- Childminders and childminder agencies
- Out of School provision
- Independent schools
Details of all childcare providers can be found on the Children and families service finder.
Search for a childcare provider
Please check that the provider offers the additional hours
and all of the terms and conditions before taking up the place.