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Childcare for working parents

How to check if your child may get up to 30 hours funded early education a week for 38 weeks and how to apply.

How 3 and 4 year olds can receive up to 30 hours a week funded childcare

All 3 and 4 year olds get 15 hours funded early education a week for 38 weeks a year. 

Working families may get another 15 hours childcare a week. That's up to a total of 30 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.

How to apply

  1. Apply through the government's Childcare Choices website.
  2. If successful you will get a code (an 11 digit number).
  3. To book a place take the code to your childcare provider with your child's birth certificate and proof of address. 

Guide to how it works

A child turns 3 and the working parent/carer gets a code between these dates:

Up to 30 hours childcare starts from:

1 January to 31 March

1 April

1 April to 31 August

1 September

1 September to 31 December

1 January

Apply via Childcare Choices website

If you have problems applying or cannot access the internet, phone the government’s helpline on 0300 123 4097.

Further information

Tax-Free Childcare is another government scheme to help working families with their childcare costs.

There is a guide about help with the cost of childcare (PDF, 1.5MB) by the Family and Childcare Trust.

Useful information about help paying for childcare from Money Saving Expert.