Last updated:

17th July 2023

Free childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

Free childcare funding

All 3 to 4-year-olds can get 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year. This is usually taken as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks of the year. Some 2-year-olds are also eligible. Working parents may also be eligible to receive an additional 570 hours free childcare per week. We have a duty to secure enough childcare places to meet demand for the free 30 hours entitlement. 

Read frequently asked questions about the extended early education and childcare entitlement for working families (30 hours) web page:

    Visit the UK Governments Childcare Choices website to find out about help paying for childcare.

    Providers who can't provide 15 hours per week

    Not all providers are able to offer the 15 hours per week or over 38 weeks of the year for example, a provider in shared premises may only be open for 12 hours per week or an independent school may only operate for 33 or 34 weeks.

    • A provider offering less than 15 hours per week shouldn't do so without good reason. They also shouldn't charge for any additional hours up to the 15 hours. 
    • If you use a provider who is open for less than 38 weeks, you can't then take the remaining hours with another provider.

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