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Help With Childcare Costs

Kiddi Caru - 11th August 2022

Trying to understand the different types of funded childcare available to your family can be incredibly confusing and overwhelming. With this in mind, we have broken down some of the key information into bite-sized chunks, including useful downloads from the government scheme Childcare Choices to help you find the right offer for your family.

What is funded childcare?

Funded childcare is government help with childcare costs for parents. There are three key government funded childcare schemes that offer support for parents with children aged 2 to 4 as well as Tax-Free Childcare scheme. However, there are different eligibility rules for each scheme available.

All 3 and 4-year-olds automatically receive 15 hours a week free childcare (universal entitlement) in the term after your child turns 3 years of age. The terms refer to January, April and September of each year.

For working families, you may also be eligible for the additional free 15 hours, totalling 30 hours of childcare (extended entitlement).

At our nurseries, free entitlement childcare sessions are available for 51 weeks of the year, up to a weekly maximum of either 11 hours or 22 hours if you are eligible for the additional hours, and are offered in blocks of up to a maximum of 10 hours a day. As a full day care provider, this ensures you can utilise the free entitlement sessions for the whole year round as we stretch these hours across 51 weeks, as opposed to the term time 38-week period, therefore we are not restricted by a term time structure.

Read on to find out about the different funded childcare schemes available and how to find out if you are eligible.

Funded Childcare for Children Aged 2

15 Hours Free Childcare 

  • A government scheme for families in England with children aged 2.
  • 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
  • A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider.

Funded Childcare for Children Aged 3 and 4

15 Hours Free Childcare 

  • A government scheme for families in England
  • With 3 and 4-year-old children
  • 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
  • A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider

30 Hours Free Childcare 

  • Working parents with children aged 3-4 in England may be entitled to up to 30hrs of childcare for 38 hours of the year.
  • This is an additional 15 hours of childcare on top of the 15 hours universal entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds in England.
  • If you think you are entitled to the additional hours, please head over to www.childcarechoices.gov.uk where you can obtain your 30 hour code. You will need to provide the funding code to your Nursery Manager along with your National Insurance number and your child’s date of birth. Every three months you are required to confirm if your details are up-to-date or your code will expire.

Tax-Free Childcare

  • A government scheme to support working parents with childcare costs.
  • Earning under £100k and at least £152 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage) each.
  • Who aren’t receiving Tax Credits, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers.
  • For every £8 you pay in, the government will pay in an extra £2.
  • You can get up to £2,000 per child per year or £4,000 for disabled children.

 Am I eligible?

  • Find out if you are eligible for any of the above schemes by visiting the childcarechoices.gov.uk website.
  • Use Childcare Choices online Childcare Calculator to find out what offers might be suitable for you and your family.
  • View the useful PDF download below for more information.

Download useful Childcare Choices PDF below

Childcare Choices – Top things parents need to know


Download PDF

Get in touch

Speak to our helpful customer services team today about funding options available for your family, or to arrange a visit to one of our nurseries.