30 hours childcare funding for eligible 3 and 4-year-olds

Working parents of children aged 3 or 4 years old may be entitled to 30 hours of funded childcare per week during term time, rather than the 15 hours of funded childcare available to all. Find out more about eligibility criteria and how to apply below. 

What is 30 hours funded childcare?

If you are a parent of a child aged three or four, you can receive government funded childcare each year. This is 15 hours per week (term time only).

If you are currently employed, you could receive an extra 15 hours per child, each year. This means you could receive a total of 30 hours per week term time of funded childcare per year for each child aged three or four years. This is 30 hours per week (term time only).

30 hours leaflet - Polish (1.4mb)

30 hours leaflet - Romanian (50kb)

Can I receive the 30 hours funded childcare?

To receive the 30 hours funded childcare you must be in work and expect to earn the equivalent of 16 hours at national minimum or living wage in the next three months. The table below shows the expected earnings:

Age Per Week Per Year
25 or over £120 Around £6,000
21 to 24 £112.80 Around £5,800

This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on a zero hours contract.

You can also receive the 30 hours funded childcare if you or your partner (where relevant) meet the criteria:

  • Are on maternity leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave, or statutory sick leave
  • Are in a ‘start up period’, such as when newly self-employed, and do not need to demonstrate that you meet the income criteria for 12 months
  • If you are a non-EEA national, you must have a legal right to public funds
  • Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.

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 

Who does not qualify?

You cannot receive the additional 15 hours of funded childcare if you or your partner (where relevant):

  • has an income of £100,000 or more
  • is a non-EEA national, subject to immigration control with no legal access to public funds. 

This means benefits cannot be claimed.

How do I apply?

To apply for the additional 15 hours (30 hours in total) please:

Apply for 30 hours funding on the Childcare Choices website 

What happens after I have applied?

Your application will be reviewed and if approved, you will receive a voucher code for each of your children.

You will be able to access the additional hours from the term after your child turns 3 and the term after you applied for the additional hours.

You then need to take your eligibility code to your childcare provider along with your child's details and your national insurance number. You should do this as soon as possible in order to be able to access the hours for the following term. 

Please note: to make sure you continue to be eligible to receive the additional 15 hours childcare, you must access your account at the Childcare Choices website every three months and either update your information or confirm that your information has not changed.

What happens if I stop meeting the required conditions?

You will still be entitled to the universal 15 hours funded childcare, however, if you stop meeting the required conditions for the additional 15 hours you will be given a ‘grace period’.

During this period you will continue to receive the full 30 hours funded childcare until the end of your grace period giving you time to find employment.

Do childcare providers have to offer 30 hours funded childcare?

You should discuss how many hours your childcare provider can offer you. This can be anything up to the 30 hours.

If they are unable to offer you the full 30 hours, you can choose to split the hours between more than one childcare provider.

Will my childcare provider need to check I can receive the funded childcare?

Your childcare provider will need to contact us to validate the voucher code you are given.

This will be a quick and simple process meaning it will be easy for you to book a place or access additional hours with your childcare provider.

If you are no longer able to receive these additional 15 hours funded childcare, we will inform your childcare provider.

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’.

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 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 (pdf 60kb)

Parental Agreement - Polish (word 59kb)

Parent agreement - Romanian (word 56kb)

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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