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Free and funded childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds

free/funded childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 or 4 year olds not yet going to school can get 15 hours free/funded childcare and early education. This is regardless of the parents’ immigration status.

They can get the free/funded hours at an Ofsted registered:

  • private day nursery
  • pre-school playgroup
  • childminder.

They can get up to 15 hours free/funded education each week for 38 weeks from the term after their third birthday.

Some childcare providers may ‘stretch’ the 15 hours across the full year. So that is, fewer hours offered per week over more weeks of the year (e.g. 11 hours each week for 51 weeks).

If you are a working parent, you may also get an extra 15 hours, please check out the 30 hours free and funded childcare page.

what isn't covered?

It is not intended to cover the costs of:

  • meals, snacks, drinks
  • nappies or sun cream,
  • more hours,
  • extra activities (such as trips).

Providers may charge a fee for these. They should offer other options. If you choose to pay for these, it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider.

Childcare providers cannot make you pay any fee as a condition of taking up a 15 hour place.

Providers can charge a refundable deposit. This will be repaid 7 days after the child starting their 15 hours place.