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.
Register to deliver funded places, update bank details or complete an annual provider agreement

You can also use the form to:

  • complete the annual provider agreement. Please note that the updated provider agreement for 2018 to 2019 will be available shortly – additional time for submissions will be allocated accordingly.
  • update your bank details

Frequently asked questions

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

We listened to the Autumn block feedback, comments, suggestions and concerns and will be amending the way we collect the Headcount information from our childcare providers.

From 1 February 2018, we will be making the changes listed in the document below:

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

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

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:

Following the monthly payment of headcount claims a detailed report will be sent to providers to give a full breakdown of payments and all Early Years supplements received. A guidance document for these reports can be found below:

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:


30 hours childcare for foster children

Foster carers of children aged 3 and 4 may be able to claim 30 hours of childcare, from September 2018, if they meet certain criteria and if it's deemed right for the child. See 30 hours free childcare for foster carers to check eligibility.

Other support