Free Childcare – allowance of 30 hours per week

In this week’s post I thought I’d share information about the free early education and childcare allowance which gives parents up to 30 hours of free childcare per child of age 3 to 4.

The first aspect to be considered is that applications must be made by parents through the website a full term BEFORE they plan to use the free childcare. The cut-off dates for termly applications are strict so don’t get caught out.

If parents are eligible, they receive a code which then allows them to book their place with a provider on Ofsted’s Early Years Register. This is valid for three months before the code expires. Parents can then log in again and confirm or update their circumstances.

To be eligible, parents must be working in England and earning more than £120 per week and no more than £100,000 per year.

Participating SETTINGS included are:

  • nurseries
  • nursery classes
  • playgroups
  • pre-schools
  • childminders
  • Sure Start Children’s Centres

Those parents not eligible can still claim their 15 hours of funded childcare.

Some providers have opted out of the scheme as the government scheme may not cover their hourly rate for the service they provide. Some may still offer their services, but request an additional payment from parents for additional items such as nappies or snacks.

Parents need to book fast as the availability is limited too and also hours may have to be spread across a longer period of time. This means that in reality a parent nay actually get fewer than 30 hours of funded childcare per week.

Hope you have found this post useful and I wish you all the best in securing the best place for your child.


Elisa x