Funded childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds

3. 30 hours funded childcare

30 hours funded childcare is intended to support working parents with the cost of childcare. It will enable them where they wish, to return to work or to work additional hours. It can, where early years providers can offer it and if parents would like, be taken all year round. The hours could be allocated pro rata.

Parents of 3 and 4 year olds living and working in England may be entitled to 30 hours funded childcare. An extra 570 hours of funded childcare a year, so 1,140 hours in total. Eligibility criteria will apply. For more information on eligibility and how to apply visit Childcare Choices.

You can take your early education and childcare at:

  • nursery schools and classes
  • private day nurseries
  • preschools
  • childminders
  • independent schools
  • before and after school clubs

To take up your place with a private provider, you need to contact the childcare provider directly. If you want to use your 30 hours funded childcare at a school nursery, you need to apply for the universal 15 hours first. Then, approach the school directly to discuss if and how they can offer the extended hours.

Not all schools and providers will be able to offer the full 30 hours funded childcare. They may be limited by their building design, opening times, staffing or simply that they are full to their capacity. You may want to look at solutions such as shared care and wrap around care. They will enable you to take up the extended entitlement.

You can find details of all early years and childcare provision on our childcare website.

We encourage you to discuss the options for early education and childcare with your preferred school or childcare provider as soon as possible.

The video below is of parents talking about the 30 hours funded childcare and the difference it has made to them.