When children turn 3 years old between:
- 1 January - 31 March, funded places can start in the summer term (from 1 April)
- 1 April - 31 August, funded places can start in the autumn term (from 1 September)
- 1 September - 31 December, funded places can start in the spring term (from 1 January)
Parents are eligible for the funded hours up until and including the term a child turns five years old if the child is attending a day nursery, preschool, childminder, out of school club or a reception class of an independent school.
*Children cannot receive the funded hours if they attend a local authority or academy reception class as this is a full time school place.