Funded childcare for working parents of three and four year olds.
All three and four year olds are entitled to up to 15 hours of funded early education a week for up to 38 weeks a year ( 570 hours a year). This is known as the ‘universal entitlement’.
The government doubled this entitlement to 30 hours a week x 38 weeks of the year (1,140 hours a year) to support working parents with childcare costs.
The entitlement can be 'stretched' less hours, more weeks dependent upon your childcare providers availability.
Who is eligible?
Parents of three and four year olds will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 30 hours free childcare:
Who will not qualify?
A parent will not meet the criteria when:
How do I apply?
You must apply for the extended entitlement hours through the Childcare Choices website.
You will need:
If you are eligible, you will receive an 11 digit code to take directly to a participating childcare provider.
They will then gain your written permission to verify the code with the Local Authority.
Once verified, a place can be confirmed for the funding period after your child becomes three years old.
When can I start using my extended entitlement hours?
If you are eligible for this funding it will begin the term after your child’s third birthday.
Please note: if you become eligible after the start of a funding period, you must wait until the following period to access your extended entitlement place.
The funding periods are:
When would my extended entitlement hours stop?
You will be prompted by text, and/or email every 3 months to reconfirm your eligibility details. If you do not reconfirm, or your circumstances change, you will only be able to access the extended entitlement hours for a short time known as a ‘Grace Period’.
|Date parent receives ineligible decision on
|LA audit date||Grace period end date|
|Between 1 January and 10 February||11 February||31 March|
|Between 11 February and 31 March||1 April||31 August|
|Between 1 April and 26 May||27 May||31 August|
|Between 27 May and 31 August||1 September||31 December|
|Between 1 September and 21 October||22 October||31 December|
|Between 22 October and 31 December||1 January||31 March|
If the grace period has expired and you have not met the eligibility criteria again, you would only be able to access the universal entitlement (570 hours per year).
Extended entitlement hours will also stop
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