Free childcare for 3 and 4 year-olds

30 hours free childcare – apply or renew by 31 December

If your 3 or 4 year-old child is eligible for 30 hours of free childcare from January 2019, you must apply before 31 December 2018 to get your code for next term. If you've already claimed 30 hours of free childcare, you must log on to your childcare account to reconfirm your code, otherwise you will lose your place.

15 hours a week for all

All 3 and 4 year-olds can get 15 hours of free early education or childcare for 38 weeks of the year, which is a total of 570 hours per year.

To get this free entitlement, you must ask your chosen childcare provider or school.

Flexible arrangements

The 15 hours of free time can be used in ways that suit you and your family's needs. For example, you could choose to split your 15 hours between two providers. Some providers, including schools, will let you pay for extra childcare on top of your free 15 hours, if you need it.

You can get funding for at least 38 weeks per year. Some providers will allow you to spread this and cover up to 52 weeks.

Talk with your chosen provider about your preferred arrangements – some providers may not be able to give you exactly what you want, however.

To find out about other local providers, contact our Family Information Service.