30 hours free childcare

What does 30 hours mean for me?

30 hours childcare is available to eligible working families of 3 and 4 year olds in England. This is an additional 15 hours on top of the 15 hours available to all parents of three and four year olds. Just like the 15 hours entitlement, you do not have to offer 30 hours childcare.

From April 2024, even more eligible working parents in England will be eligible to get help with their childcare costs.

What do parents need to know?

Parents can check their eligibility for 30 hours through the childcare calculator and apply for 30 hours and Tax-Free Childcare through the childcare service.

If eligible, the parent will receive an 11-digit eligibility code. Before a parent can take up a place they must bring their code, national insurance number and child’s date of birth to you so you can check that their code is valid. You should encourage parents to bring you their code as soon as they receive it. Parents cannot take up a 30 hours place until you have validated their code. Your local authority will be able to provide you with information about the process for validating codes in your area.

Every three months parents will need to confirm that the details they entered on their application are up to date. We’ll send them email reminders and text messages to do this, but it is good practice for you to remind parents as well.

How will I be paid?

Once you have validated the parent’s code and checked that the child is the correct age to take up their place (further information about this can be found in the operational guidance), you will be paid through the local procedures for headcount claims just like the 15 hours entitlement.

More information available on guidance and resources

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