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Funded Childcare for 3 & 4 year-olds

From the term after their third birthday, until they start school, your child is entitled to up to 570 hours of funded early learning and childcare each year.

This is often taken as 15 hours per week for 38 weeks a year during school term time.

Depending on the provider, funded time can be taken between 6am and 8pm, for a maximum of 10 hours a day and at no more than two sites in a single day: as an example your funding could be split between a childminder, Nursery and Lapford's Out of School Club. There is no minimum amount of time that must be attended.

What should I do?

Check the table below to see when your child is eligible:

Child born between Entitled from:
1 April and 31 August Start of Autumn funding period (from 1st September)
1 September and 31 December Start of Spring funding period (from 1st January)
1 January and 31 March Start of Summer funding period (from 1st April)

If you are already using childcare make sure you speak to your provider to ensure that you are using all the hours you need and are entitled to.

If you’re not already using childcare:

30 hours Funded Childcare

Some children of working parents may be eligible for extra funded early education and childcare. Find out more about the extended entitlement.

Tax-Free Childcare

The government introduced a Tax-Free Childcare scheme which can be used alongside the 15 and 30 hours of funded childcare. You can apply for both the 30 hours and Tax-Free Childcare schemes through one online application.

The top things parents need to know about both these offers can be found in the Childcare Choices factsheet.