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Early Years Education Entitlement Funding

Free childcare and education for 2 to 4-year-olds

All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year. This is usually taken as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks of the year. Some 2-year-olds are also eligible.


Some 2-year-olds in England can get free early education and childcare.

You must be getting one of the following:

Income Support


Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)


Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)


Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act


Tax credits and have an annual income under £16,190 before tax


The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit


The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Universal Credit

Children are also entitled to a place if:


they’re looked after by a local council


they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education health and care plan


they get Disability Living Allowance


they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

Tax credits for your childcare

Nine out of ten families are eligible for some financial assistance through the new Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. The amount you receive will depend on your circumstances.

Families with children can claim Child Tax Credit if their income is no more than £58,175 a year (up to £66,350 if you have a child under one).

The amount you get depends on various things, including your annual income and is paid directly into the bank of the main carer.

The other tax credit you may be entitled to, if either you or your partner is working, is called Working Tax Credit.

It includes a childcare element to help families who are working and spending money on childcare.

You'll need to know the following details before you use the calculator: 


your income


your partner's income


your working hours


any  benefits you're claiming, or have just stopped claiming


the average weekly amount you spend on childcare

Childcare Vouchers

Childcare Vouchers is a scheme some employers offer to help working parents save on registered childcare costs.

The vouchers can be used to pay for all types of registered childcare including registered childminders, day nurseries, crèches, playgroups, out of school hours clubs, holiday play schemes and home childcarers approved under the new Home Childcarer Approval Scheme.

Your entitlement to tax credits, however, is likely to be affected. This is because you can only claim help through the childcare element of Working Tax Credit on childcare costs that you meet yourself.

Free 30 hours places for 3-4 year olds 

The government has extended the free 15 hours childcare funding for three and four year olds to an additional 15 hours for eligible working families. 

Funding will be available the term after your child has turned three years of age.

You may be eligible for this funding if you meet this criteria:


Both parents are working (or the sole parent is a lone parent family) and each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW).


A weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage, less than £100,000 per year per parent/carer.


Link : Go to to apply and learn more about the criteria. You are strongly advised to apply ahead of the term if you wish to have a 30 hours place.

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