Free education for 3 & 4 year olds

What's on offer?

All 3 and 4 year olds in Staffordshire are entitled to free education for 15 hours a week during school term times.  This is over 38 weeks per year during school term time, although some settings may be pro rata.   

When will my child be eligible?

 Born between  Free places can 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?

  1. Contact your childcare provider.  They will submit a claim on your behalf, and no money or vouchers are passed to you. 
  2. The funding is paid directly to the childcare provider.  
  3. 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. 

For more information see our easy to read PDF Document NEF leaflet (172 KB) 

Where are free places available? 

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

  • Childminders
  • Day nurseries (private, voluntary or independent)
  • Pre-schools, playgroups and wraparound (academy or governor run)
  • Maintained nursery schools and classes

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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