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Early Education Funding and 30 hours Childcare Offer

30 hours free childcare and early education for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds


All 3 and 4 year old children in England are entitled to 15 hours of free early education and childcare a week. This is a total of 570 hours, over a minimum of 38 weeks a year, and is known as the Universal Entitlement.

The government has extended the amount of free early education and childcare a week, from 15 hours to 30 hours a week, for children of working families who meet an eligibility criteria. This means that eligible families will be able to access up to a total of 1,140 hours of free early education and childcare, over a minimum of 38 weeks a year. This is known as the extended entitlement.


Parents wishing to access the extended entitlement for their child can now apply via:

HMRC online application system (opens a new window)

Start receiving funding from You must have obtained a code by:
January 31 December
April 31 March
September 31 August
We strongly recommend that you apply for the 30 hours in advance of the application deadline



8 facts you need to know about 30 hours (pdf)

Find out which childcare providers will offer the extended entitlement

You can find providers using the Childcare Search on this website (opens a new window)

Please note, providers may not currently have vacancies, please contact them to find out. We also suggest that you contact the childcare provider of your choice to find out what they are offering, even if they are not showing on the list as offering the extended entitlement currently. 

Tax-Free Childcare 

The government has introduced the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme. This is available to parents with children under 12 years old (or under 17 years old if the child has a disability, who meet the eligibility criteria. With Tax-Free Childcare, parents can get up to £500 every 3 months to help with the cost of childcare. Parents can apply for the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme through the Childcare Service System (opens a new window)