Funding Facts


Tax Free Childcare

If you’re a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children), you can open an online account to pay for registered childcare. The government will top-up the money you pay into the account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. You can receive up to £2,000 per child per year – that’s up to £500 every three months. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child – that’s up to £1,000 every three months. This account is then to be set up for the money to be released to the child care provider through a standing order.

You can use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as:

  • 15 hours free childcare
  • 30 hours free childcare

You can’t use it with:

  • Universal Credit
  • Tax Credits
  • Childcare Vouchers (closed to new entrants)

2 Year Old Funding

Your 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit – if you and your partner have a combined income from work of £15,400 or less a year, after tax
  • Tax credits and you have an income of £16,190 or less a year, before tax
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:

  • They’re looked after by a local council
  • They have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • They get Disability Living Allowance
  • They’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order.

What is two year funding?

  • 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
  • A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use with one or more childcare provider.
  • We ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, which equivalates it to 11 hours per week all year round.

15 Hours funding at 3 and 4 years old

  • This is for all families in England with 3 and 4-year-old children
  • A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider
  • We ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, which equivalates to 11 hours per week all year round.

30 Hours funding

  • For working families in England with 3 and 4-year-old children
  • 30 hours of free childcare or early education. A total of 1,140 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more provider. We stretch out over the year so equates to 22 hours per week.
  • To be eligible you and your partner must each expect to earn (on average) at least £125 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage).
  • If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you’re unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.
  • You can’t get 30 hours free childcare if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more.

Funding Facts

  • The funding can only be claimed the term after a child’s birthday. For example if a child is three on 9th April they are not able to get funded hours until September. The terms are January, April and September.
  • If a child is born on the first of the first month in the term, they will still need to wait until the next term to claim the funding.
  • The nursery divide free hours over the year, so the 15 hours are equivalent to 11 hours per week and the 30 hours are equivalent to 22 hours per week.
  • Childcare choices release deadline dates of when to apply for the 30 hours. You can find lots of information at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/
  • Every three months you must renew your child’s code through your government gateway account.
  • If you do not sign the parental agreement then any funding can not be claimed.
  • Once you have applied for the code you will then need to give the nursery manager the code, NI number, child and parents DOB.
  • The 15 hours free childcare/early education offer is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips).This is why the nurseries charge ‘sundries’.

Please talk to your child’s nursery manager if you need any more information or further advice regarding funding