30 hour childcare
From September 2017 working parents eligible 3 and 4 year old children could receive an additional 15 hours of funded early education a week over 38 weeks (or a total of 1140 hours across more week of the year) on top of the current entitlement of 15 hours
for all 3/ 4 year olds.
What's the criteria?
Each parent (or lone parent) earns at least the minimum equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum wage or national living wage, this equates to earning at least:
Some families of 3 and 4 year olds could be eligible for the extended hours if one of the following is met:
- Where one or both parents are unable to work due to paid maternity leave, paternity leave, statutory sick, shared parental or adoption leave.
- Where one parent meets the earnings criteria but the other parent is unable to work due to being disabled, having full time Carer responsibilties preventing employment, or they have been assessed for having limited capacity to work.
- Where one parent is in the 'start up period' (newly self employed) they do not need to demonstrate they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
You will not be eligible if:
- Either parent earns more than £100,000 a year.
- Either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control and has no recourse to public funds.
How do I apply?
Parents apply on the HMRC website Childcare Choices who check and confirm eligibility. Parents who do not have not have internet access should contact the HMRC Customer Interaction Centre on 0300 123 4097.
You now have a code, what to do next?
- If application is successful, parents will be sent an 11 digit code by HMRC to their online Gateway Account. This code letter must be seen by the childcare provider/s who will need to validate the code with their local authority and check the actual funding start date. The extended 15 hours will start from the term period after the parent received their code if the child is age eligible (see FAQs).
- Please be aware that any hours taken prior to the funding start date will be paid for by the parent.
- Parents should discuss with their childcare provider how the funded hours can be taken with them.
- Parents who have difficulty with their account or retrieving their code should contact the HMRC Customer Interaction Centre on 0300 123 4097.
- Important: every 3 months parents will be prompted by HMRC via text/ email to log into the Gateway Account and reconfirm details/ eligibility to continue receiving the extended hours.
What if a family falls out of eligibility
- If a family falls out of the eligibility criteria for the extended 15 hours, or they do not confirm their eligibility every 3 months, a grace period of funding will continue for a set date before the extended 15 hours stop.
- After the grace period is completed and parents are still not eligible, the child will then revert back being able to claim a maximum of 15 hours per week of funded childcare over 38 weeks (or 570 hours over more weeks of the year).
What parents need to know about funded places
Parents can find out more on how funded hours could be taken, charges, when children become eligible, where to find childcare plus much more on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Parents can also download a handy leaflet about funded places:
Early Education Funded places (pdf, 2mb)
Family Information Service:
Phone: 0300 111 8007 then choose option1