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Early Education and Childcare Funding - eligibility by age

 
2 year olds
3 and 4 year olds

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Free 15 hours a week for looked after children

and parents on benefits

(subject to availability)

 

Eligible term after second birthday

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Free universal 15 hours a week for all 3 and 4 year olds

 

 

Eligible term after third birthday

3 and 4 year olds
4 and 5 year olds

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Free extended 30 hours a week for working parents (subject to availability)

 

 

Eligible term after third birthday

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Begin reception class academic year (September) after fourth birthday

 

 

Statutory school age is the term after the fifth birthday

Other financial help with childcare costs (opens a new window) 
Early Years Pupil Premium (opens a new window)

What are the benefits for me and my child? 

This is a very important stage for your child's development. Early education means they will:

  • learn
  • play with friends
  • experience new activities
  • get ready for school

You don't have to be working to get free childcare but you might choose to:

  • take up a college course
  • go back to work
  • get ideas on how to help your child learn and play
  • or just have more time for other things!