Help with childcare costs

Funded childcare for three to four-year-olds

15 hours funded childcare

All 3 to 4-year-olds can get up to 15 hours funded childcare a week for 38 weeks a year during term time.

Some providers can offer fewer hours per week but for more weeks of the year. You can get up to 570 funded hours per year.

Your funded hours can only start from the term after your child’s third birthday.

No application is needed.

Child born between Entitlement begins
1 January to 31 March Summer term (from April 1)
1 April to 31 August Autumn term (from 1 September)
1 September to 31 December Spring term (from 1 January)

Your funded early education and childcare:

  • must be with an approved childcare provider
  • stops when your child starts in reception class (or reaches compulsory school age, if later)

You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.

Funded childcare places are offered by: 

  • all maintained nursery schools
  • most day nurseries and pre-schools
  • some childminders

To find a childcare provider in your area, visit our Family Service Directory.

30 hours funded childcare

Some 3 to 4-year-olds are eligible for 30 hours funded childcare a week.

You can start accessing your 30 hours from the term after your child’s 3rd birthday. Or the term after you have applied and been issued a code, whichever is latest.

Check if you are eligible and find out how to apply on

If you are eligible for 30 hours funded childcare you must sign in to your childcare account to re-confirm every three months.