Childcare - frequently asked questions


Do I need to apply for two year old funding each term?

No, once the funding is approved it will continue until you child moves to three year old funding (the term after the child turns three)

I have applied for the same funding for my second child and it has been declined yet my circumstances haven’t changed – why is this?

Please ring HMRC (0345 300 3900) or the Universal Credit Help line (0800 328 5644) to ensure your income is still below the threshold.

How will the help I get from the Government (70% of childcare costs) be affected if I take up the two year old funding?

Check the Childcare Choices website.

My family income is below the threshold and HMRC has confirmed that. Why am I still not entitled to the funding?

HMRC add £3,500 to any estimated income which may take your family income above the threshold.

Do I have to tell Universal Credits about the two year old funding?

We would always encourage parents who are claiming Universal Credit/Tax Credits to declare any income they have coming into the household. This includes any childcare support/funding they receive, as it may impact on the childcare element of their benefits.

Can I claim less than the 15 hours/ 30 hours? (where applicable)

Yes, there is no minimum number of hours you can claim.

When is the best time to apply for 30 hours?

Salford City Council advises to apply six weeks before the deadline to avoid any potential delays. The deadlines are 31 March, 31 August and 31 December. Your code must be issued (and dated) before the start of the following term.

To ensure continuity of your code it must be updated each term - please check your 'end date' and any prompts from HMRC to update/reconfirm your code.

Will my three year old get 15 or 30 hours funding?

30 hours is mainly for working families. Please visit the Childcare Choices website to apply or you can ring them directly on 0300 1234 097

Can I split the funding between two or more settings?

Yes, you need to declare this on the parent contract form and tell both providers you are sharing the funding and how it is to be split.

Is the family income threshold the same even I have twins or triplets?

Yes, the thresholds remain the same regardless of how many children you have.

Do I have to pay for my child’s meal in day care?

Parents are expected to pay, please discuss with your childcare provider if you cannot afford to pay these costs. Funding is not to be used to pay for meals.

How do I know which childcare provider is the best?

All childcare providers are different, what may be right for your child may not be right for someone else’s. Visit a number of providers and ask lots of questions and see what you think. You know what is best for your child. Check the most recent OFSTED report.

What childcare is there in Salford? How do I find childcare?

Childcare can be found on our MyCity Directory.

MyCity Directory enables you to search for childcare services such as before and after school clubs, childminders, day nurseries, holiday clubs and pre-school playgroups in the Salford area. To find childcare near to where you live or work, simply enter the postcode in the location field at the top of the page. If your child is in school, you can search for before and after school services. Just press the search button and use the school filter to find the school your child attends.

Where can I get a list of pre-school/ playgroups in my area?

Get a list of pre-school and playgroups on the MyCity Directory. 

​​How do I find out about afterschool and breakfast clubs that are in my area?

Afterschool and breakfast clubs can be found on our MyCity Directory.

Is there any childcare available during the school holidays?

Yes, if you go to the MyCity Directory website you will be able to find a list of School Holiday clubs based in Salford.

I need respite care for my child, who do I contact?

Please visit our short break care page to find out more.


How many weeks are there in each term/annually?

If you would like a copy of the providers timetable, please contact and they will provide you with a copy of the timetable.

When am I able to claim for children and when does the portal open and close?

All the dates are listed on the Providers Timetable please contact the nursery funding team for a copy of our timetable on

Can the funding be backdated?

It is very rare that we backdate any two, three or four year old funding with regards to the funding start date. You would need to contact the Nursery Funding Team at  to discuss. We do accept late claims that have been omitted from actual headcount forms by opening adjustment headcount tasks within each term. 

How much is the hourly rate?

This is available on our Two, three and four year old funded providers page.

When are the payments due?

All the dates are listed on the Providers Timetable. Please contact the nursery funding team for a copy of our timetable on

What are the 30 hour start dates?

Codes must be dated before the first day of term. Please see our 30 hour childcare scheme page. Any code dated on/after the first day of the current term will not be valid for use.

All the dates are listed on the Providers Timetable please contact the nursery funding team for a copy of our timetable on

Can I claim for my own child or relative?

Early years provision is defined in section 20 of the 2006 Act as the provision of childcare. “Childcare”, as defined in section 18 of the 2006 Act, specifically excludes care provided for a child by a parent, step-parent, foster parent (or other relative) or by a person who fosters the child privately or has parental responsibility for the child. Early years provision by a childminder (either independently registered with Ofsted or registered with a childminder agency) for a related child does not count as childcare in legal terms. Government funding cannot be claimed by, or spent on, childminders providing childcare for their own child or a related child, even if they are claiming for other children.

What is the ‘Average hours’ column for?

This is the average number of hours a child attends per week including funded or any private fee-paying hours.

How can I see at a glance what date a code is eligible from and to, the grace period and when it is due to expire? 

Hover over the Extended Hours (EH) on the Head Count page and this will provide you with the date the code is due to expire.

What does the ‘Amber S’ mean on the Head Count page?

This could potentially mean that the child could also be attending elsewhere - please contact to check.

What does the ‘Black S’ mean on the Head Count page?

This indicates that the child has attended another setting and the placement has now closed.

What does the exclamation mark mean on the Head Count page?

If it’s a red triangle it indicates that data is missing, for example parent/carer data not entered or declined to provide.

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