Free Childcare Places for 3 & 4 Year Olds

All 3 and 4 year olds in Staffordshire are entitled to free education places. 

The entitlement is 15 hours a week (38 weeks per year during school term time, although some settings may be pro rata) for all 3 and 4 year olds in Staffordshire.   

When will my child be eligible?

Your child is usually eligible from the school term| after their 3rd birthday. The free child places are available during school term times: 

 Born between   Free places start from
 1st January - 31st March  Summer term (from 1st April) 
 1st April - 31st August  Autumn term (from 1st September)
 1st September - 31st December  Spring term (from 1st January)

How do I claim my free places?

To claim a free childcare place please contact your childcare provider as they will submit a claim on your behalf. No money or vouchers are passed to you. The funding is paid directly to the childcare provider, who applies for funding for your child.  The free places are then automatically deducted from your childcare bill.

Remember: you do not have to attend for additional childcare, you can simply attend for the free places if you choose.  Parents/ carers should not be charged for additional hours not required or attended for.  

Your child can attend any childcare provider that is registered to provide free places, so as long as they have places available. Providers will include:

  • Accredited Childminders that are part of a network;
  • Day Nurseries (Private, voluntary, independent, academy or governor run);
  • Pre-schools, Playgroups and Wraparound;
  • Maintained Nursery schools and classes;
  • Children Centres and Some Creches.

Please note:  Out of school and holiday clubs cannot claim for free places.

Find out more about the different childcare options in your area|.

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