All 3 to 4-year-olds in England already receive 15 hours free early education a week, or 570 hours a year.
From September 2017 some 3 and 4-year-olds will be entitled to 30 hours free early education/childcare a week, or 1140 hours a year.
You will be able to claim from the term following your child’s 3rd birthday until they reach compulsory school age
Your eligibility depends on:
if you are working
your income (and your partner’s income, if you have one)
your child’s age and circumstances
your immigration status
You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits, childcare vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare.
If you are working
You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:
on sick leave or annual leave
on shared parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave
If you’re on adoption leave for a child aged 3 to 4 years old, you must return to work within 31 days of the date you first apply for 30 hours free childcare.
If your working pattern has changed because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you may still be able to get 30 hours free childcare.
If you are not currently working
You may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance.
You can apply if you’re starting or re-starting work within the next 31 days.
Applying for 30 hours free childcare
You can apply for 30 hours free childcare in a single online childcare service application at
Securing your 30 hours place
If you think you might be eligible for 30 hours free childcare, please let us know as soon as possible.
For more information visit: www.childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk
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