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Free childcare for 2-year-olds

4. Using the free hours

Many childcare providers will work flexibly to help meets your needs, within the following limits:

  • your child can have a maximum of 570 hours per year of free childcare and early education .
  • you can take a maximum of 15 hours per week during term time only (38 weeks per year), or if the childcare provider is open year round, you could take fewer hours every week but spread them across the year. Each free session can last between two-and-a-half and 10 hours a day up to a maximum of 15 hours per week.
  • if you would like to ‘top-up’ with additional hours then you can purchase these with your childcare provider, if they have space available.

Please have a discussion with your chosen childcare provider regarding the flexible options available to you.

From September 2017 you may be eligible for the 30 hours free childcare. Please discuss this with your school or early years provider.