Funded and Tax Free Childcare

Am I eligible?


To be able to take up 15 hours of free early education for your two-year-old you must meet the eligibility criteria.
Please visit link: help with childcare costs for more information.



Age 2 - 15 Hours Funded Childcare


• For families in England, receiving some forms of support
• With a 2-year-old children
• 5 hours of free childcare or early education for a 38 weeks
• A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider

What isn't covered?

The 15 hours of funded childcare/early education for two-year-olds is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these additions. If you choose to pay for these it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider.



Age 3 and 4 - 15 Hours Funded Childcare

Am I eligible?

15 hours of free childcare is available for all families in England. More information can be found at link: help with childcare costs for more information.


• For all families in England
• With 3 and 4-year-old children
• 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
• A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider
• Some providers will allow you to 'stretch' the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week

Where can I use it?

It's available at participating:
• Full day care (e.g nurseries)
• Schools
• Childminders
• Sessional providers (e.g. playgroups)
• Sure Start Children's Centres
• After school clubs


From 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child's 3rd birthday.

What isn't covered?

The 15 hours free childcare/early education offer is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these additions. If you choose to pay for these it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider.


Age 3 and 4 - 30 Hours Funded Childcare

Am I eligible?

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £125 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible. You can't get 30 hours free childcare if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more.

Link: help with chidcare costs


When can my child start?

Your child can start in their childcare place the term after they turn 3 years old and have received a valid 30 hours code, whichever is later. Term start dates are 1st September, 1st January and 1st April.

To keep your 30 hours free childcare place you need to check your details are up to date every 3 months.


Where can I use it?

It's available at participating:
• Full day care (e.g nurseries)
• Schools
• Childminders
• Sessional providers (e.g. playgroups)
• Sure Start Children's Centres
• After school clubs




What isn't covered?

The 30 hours free childcare offer is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these additions. If you choose to pay for these it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider.

Tax-Free Childcare

• For working families, including the self-employed, in the UK
• With children under 12 (or under 17 if disabled)
• For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year

Link: Childcare calculator

Link: childcarechoices.gov.uk provides lots of information on Funded and Tax-Free childcare