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30 hours extended entitlement

What is 30 Hours Extended Entitlement?

All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 universal hours. However, 3 and 4 year olds of working parents may be entitled to an additional 15 hours if eligible. Find out more.

When you apply for 30 hours you will receive an 11 digit code. Your child can access 30 hours the term after they turn 3 years old or the term after they receive their eligibility code – whichever is later:

30 Hours extended entitlement

A child must have turned 3 years old and an eligible code must have been received by:

To access a funded place in:

What to do when you have your code

31 December

Spring Term


Contact your chosen childcare provider to see when you can start accessing 30 hours. They will need to check your code is valid before offering you a place

31 March

Summer Term


31 August

Autumn Term


How you can use 30 hours free childcare

You can get 30 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year (during school term time).

You may be able to get free childcare for 52 weeks if you use fewer than 30 hours per week. Check with your childcare provider to find out if this is something they offer – it’s called stretched funding.

Some childcare providers will be able to offer the full 30 hours at their setting and others may only be able to offer you 15 hours. You can split your funded hours over 2 childcare providers. Speak to your childcare provider to see what they offer.

What isn't covered?

The 30 hours free childcare offer is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these additions. If you choose to pay for these it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider. However, you must not be required to pay any fee as a condition of taking up 30 hours place, and must be offered alternative options.

Apply for 30 hours free childcare:

If you live in England, use this service to apply for a code to get 30 hours free childcare. You’ll need to set up a childcare account.

You’ll need your details (and your partner’s, if you have one), including your:

  • National Insurance number
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re self-employed

If you pay for childcare and want to use Tax-Free Childcare to get help with costs, you can also apply using this service.

It usually takes 20 minutes to apply. You may find out if you’re eligible straight away, but it can take up to 7 days.

 Apply now

You must reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months to remain eligible for 30 hours. If you reconfirm late you may lose 30 hours for the next term. Check your childcare service account for reconfirmation dates.

Watch this short video about how to apply:  

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