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 get 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

Apply or find out more at Childcare Choices.

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.