free childcare
15 hours free childcare for three and four year-olds

15 hours free childcare for three and four year-olds?


All three and four-year-olds can get up to 15 hours of free childcare and early education of up to 38 weeks per year in the UK. Parents of these children can access the provision from private day nurseries, nursery classes, pre-schools, and childminders. The extra 15 hours childcare entitlement is also known as Tax-Free Childcare, which aims to assist working families with childcare costs.


However, the parents need to pay for additional hours or additional early childcare/education services over the universal entitlement. 


How to access a place?

The parents of three and 4-year-old children can contact their preferred early years’ provider if they want to access a place. If the parents’ provider is oversubscribed, they can use their entitlement with any other participating providers. The local authority is obliged to make sure all children aged three and four can access a place. However, the local authority does not guarantee a place at the parent’s preferred provider.


If you are already sending your child to an early years provider, they will know when your child will be eligible for the funding.


As a parent, when you want to claim the funding, you must provide a copy of your child’s birth certificate to your provider and sign a declaration form. Once you fulfil these formalities, the provider will claim the funding from the authorities on your behalf since you cannot apply separately.


Extra 15 hours childcare for working parents


Those working parents who have children ageing three and four may be entitled to an extra 15 hours of free childcare every week. The funding for the scheme will only be available for families who have both the parents working (or sole earning parent in a single-parent family). The parents must also earn 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW). The individual earning of each parent must also be lower than the UK pound 100,000 per year.


Can parents use the funded childcare over the school holidays?


Parents of children aged three and four can use the stretched offer to use their funded early education throughout the whole year.


The stretched offer is devised for parents of those children who have taken up their funded entitlement and wish to “stretch” their funded hours across the year. The parents should not confuse the ‘Stretched Offer’ with laying out a parent’s bill into 12 equal monthly instalments. The ‘Stretched Offer’ is only related to funded early education and not any other paid scheme.



You can find more information about the 15 hours free childcare by contacting us today. Cheeky Chums can walk you through all the details and assist you in making the right move for your children. You can reach out to us through our website, or send an email.


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