15 hours childcare funding for all 3 and 4-year-olds

All parents and guardians of children aged 3 or 4-years-old can receive 570 hours of government-funded childcare each year (15 hours a week term time). Find out more about these funded hours below.

What is funded childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds?

If you are a parent or guardian of a child aged 3 or 4 years old, you can receive 570 hours of government-funded childcare or early education each year. This is usually taken as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks.

Some children are also entitled to an extra 15 hours a week, making 30 hours funded childcare a week in total.

When can my child receive funded childcare?

The exact date you can receive funded childcare for your child depends on which term they turn 3 years old. The table below shows the term dates and when you can claim funded childcare:

Term and claim dates

Children born between: are eligible from:
1 January and 31 March The start of the term beginning or following 1 April
1 April and 31 August The start of the term beginning or following 1 September
1 September and 31 December The start of the term beginning or following 1 January

Where can I use my funded childcare?

You can use your funded childcare in any Ofsted Registered childcare provider that offer the funded places:

  • Day nurseries

  • Childminders

  • Pre-schools

  • Nursery units of independent schools

  • Nursery schools

  • Nursery class

  • Creches

  • Out of School Clubs.

For more information about childcare providers in your area you can browse the FISH Directory where you can search for childcare providers in your area:

Search for childcare providers for funded 3 and 4-year-olds

How do I access the 15 hours funded childcare?

All 3 and 4-year-olds are entitled to 570 hours of funded Childcare a year (15 hours per week term time) from the term after they turn three until they reach compulsory school age or start full-time education.

You do not need to apply to receive the funded childcare, you simply need to show your chosen childcare provider proof of your child’s age, such as their birth certificate.

Can I use my funded childcare over the school holidays?

Parents may be able to use their funded early education across the entire year, this is called the 'Stretched Offer'.

The annual Funded early education entitlement per child starts from the Autumn Term (so should be calculated from 1 September to 31 August).

The stretched offer is for children who take up their funded entitlement and want to spread their funded hours across more of the year. The ‘Stretched Offer’ is not to be confused with spreading a parent’s bill over 12 equal monthly payments, as the ‘Stretched Offer’ relates only to Funded early education, not to any hours paid for.

Parents should discuss the hours they would like to take with their childcare provider as not all providers offer the ‘Stretched Offer’

Stretched Hour Models for 1 September - 31 August

Total hours parent is entitled to: Hours parent is entitled to if stretching the hours all year round excluding the week between Christmas and New Year (51 weeks) Hours parent is entitled to if stretching the hours all year round excluding school Christmas holidays (50 weeks) Hours parent is entitled to if stretching the hours over 48 weeks in total
Funded early education for 2-year-olds 570 hours (15 hours per week during term time) Up to 11 hours per week* Up to 11 hours 20 minutes per week Up to 11 hours 52 minutes per week*
Universal Funded Childcare for 3 and 4-year olds (15 hours) 570 hours (15 Hours per week during term time) Up to 11 hours per week* Up to 11 hours 20 minutes per week Up to 11 hours 52 minutes per week*
Extended Entitlement for 3 and 4-year-olds (30 Hours) 1,140 hours (30 hours per week during term time) Up to 22 hours 20 minutes per week* Up to 22 hours 48 minutes per week Up to 23 hours 45 minutes per week

*Some of the stretched offer models mean the child will not be able to access the full funded entitlement across the year. Parents must be made aware before they agree to a stretched offer that they will not receive their full entitlement, using some of the models above they may lose up to 3 minutes per termly week of their full entitlement.

Some providers may charge for meals, snacks or optional extras as these may not always be included within the funded entitlement. If you take more than your funded early education hours there will be a charge from the provider for these additional hours.

Please check with your provider for full details of any additional charges.

What is Early Years Pupil Premium and can my child receive it?

Early years pupil premium (EYPP) is extra funding paid to childcare providers to improve the development, learning, and care for disadvantaged children aged 3 or 4 years old.

Your child can receive early years pupil premium if they are aged 3 or 4 years old and you, as their parent or guardian, are in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit (as long as you don’t also receive Working Tax Credit and your yearly income is no more than £16,190)

  • Working Tax Credit run-on (a benefit paid for four weeks after you no longer can receive Working Tax Credit)

  • Universal Credit.

A child can also receive early years pupil premium funding if:

  • a local authority in England or Wales is looking after them at the moment

  • they have left care in England or Wales through an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement order.

What should I do if I am not satisfied that my child has received their Funded Early Education entitlement in the correct way?

In the first instance, it is usually best if you discuss your concerns with your childcare provider or the person in charge. If you are a parent or carer and cannot resolve your concern through discussion, you can make a formal complaint to the provider. All providers should have a complaints procedure in place that is published and accessible for parents, who are not satisfied their child has received their funded entitlement in the correct way, as set out in the 'East Riding of Yorkshire Council Provider Agreement for funded early education and childcare for two-three and four-year-olds'.

For a summary of the terms of the agreement please see section 5 of the Parental Agreement, which your childcare provider should have asked you to complete:

Parental Agreement and declaration form for the delivery of Free Early Education (FEE) for 2- 3- and 4-year-olds (word 60kb)

If you are unable to resolve your concern directly with the provider, you can follow the council's complaints procedure. Childcare providers should make parents aware that they can take their complaint to the council.

If you wish to take your complaint to the council you should contact the Families' Information Service Hub (FISH) on (01482) 396469 to give the details of your complaint. The complaint will then be passed onto an officer in the Early Years Service.

The officer will contact both yourself and the childcare provider within 10 working days to gather full details and any documentary evidence that may be required, (such as copies of invoices or the signed parental agreement and declaration form).

The council will reply in writing to both the parent and childcare provider, no later than 10 working days after gathering all relevant information, setting out their assessment of the situation and stating whether the actions of the provider are in accordance with the provider agreement.

If you are not satisfied with the way in which your complaint has been dealt with by the local authority or believe the local authority has acted unreasonably, you can make a complaint to the local authority Ombudsman. These complaints will only be considered when the local complaints procedure has been exhausted.

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