All 3 and 4 years olds are entitled to a universal entitlement of 15 hours of early education per week (over 38 weeks, or 570 hours across more weeks of the year) at a registered or approved childcare provider. Most childcare providers offer funded places which could be at a: childminder, nursery, pre-school, school, local authority/academy or independent school based nurseries. Out of school club/ holiday club could also now offer funded places. * Check with your provider if they offer funded places.
Funded hours cannot be claimed for 4 year olds allocated a school based reception class price.
Funding for the universal 15 hours will start from the term after the child’s 3rd birthday (as follows):
- 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)
For example, if a child is 3 years old between 1st January - 31st March, they will be eligible for funded places from 1 April. These dates are fixed and independent of school term dates.
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 or out of school club or any other type of early years provision registered for funding.
Children cannot receive the funded hours if they attend a local authority/ academy reception class.