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Early Years Funding
Who can get funded childcare now and how does it work?
At the moment all three- and four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of funded early education per week in term time, or 38 weeks a year.
Children of eligible working parents are entitled to 30 hours funded early education hours per week in term time, or 38 weeks a year. Both parents must earn at least £152 per week to qualify.
Two-year-olds in England can also have 15 hours of funded early education under certain circumstances, for example if the family receives Universal Credit.
Funded hours are available from the start of the term after the child reaches the relevant age.
More information can be found here.
What other help with childcare costs is currently available?
Under the tax-free childcare scheme, the government pays £2 for every £8 families contribute, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year (£4,000 for disabled children).
The money can be used for approved childcare including nurseries, childminders and wrap around care. It can be used alongside funded childcare hours if parents qualify for both.
To be eligible a parent and their partner each need to earn (on average) £152 per week but less than £100,000 per year.
Parents claiming universal credit who aren’t using the tax-free childcare scheme can claim back up to 85% of childcare costs.
Parents under 20 in England who are at school or sixth form college, can also receive weekly payments under Care to Learn scheme, worth £160 per child per week outside London and £175 inside the capital.
March 2023 Budget announcement:
Who will now get 30 hours free childcare and when will it start?
Changes will be phased in for households in England where the parent or parents earn at least £152 a week but less than £100,000 per year:
- April 2024: Eligible two-year-olds will get 15 hours of funded early education per week (38 weeks)
- September 2024: Eligible children between 9 months and two years will get 15 hours.
- September 2025: Eligible children between nine months and three years will get 30 hours.
Budget 2023: Everything you need to know about childcare support
Further detail will follow as the government releases information.