Free childcare and education for 3 and 4 year olds
A Government funded 3 and 4 year old place is available for all families in England. All 3 and 4 year old children will receive;
- 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
- A total of 570 hours per year, which you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider
- Some providers will allow you to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week
Funded places can be accessed as below;
- Children born in the period 1 January to 31 March: the start of term beginning on or following 1 April after the child’s birthday;
- Children born in the period 1 April to 31 August: the start of term beginning on or following 1 September after the child’s birthday;
- Children born in the period 1 September to 31 December: the start of term beginning on or following 1 January after the child’s birthday.
Children can start a funded place from the first day of term until the below headcount date;
- Autumn census - first Thursday in October
- Spring census - third Thursday in January
- Summer census - third Thursday in May
If a child leaves a funded place before the headcount date or starts after the above headcount date, the provider may charge the family for the agreed funded hours.
Read more about childcare funding for 3 to 4 year olds on the gov.uk website.