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Am I entitled to 30 hours free childcare?

Securing your 30 hours place

If you think you might be eligible for 30 hours free childcare, please let us know as soon as possible.

30 hours Eligibility
All 3 to 4-year-olds in England already receive 15 hours free early education a week, or 570 hours a year.

With the introduction of the 30 hour offer in September 2017 some 3 and 4-year-olds will now be entitled to 30 hours free early education/childcare a week, or 1140 hours a year. 

You will be able to claim from the term following your child’s 3rd birthday until they reach compulsory school age

Eligibility criteria:

You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:

  • in work - or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave

  • each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week - this is £125.28 if you’re over 25

This earnings limit does not apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.


You’re not eligible if:

  • your child does not usually live with you

  • either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000

  • you’re from outside the EEA and your UK residence card says you cannot access public funds

If you foster your child, you cannot apply online. Ask your social worker and your local council if 30 hours free childcare is suitable.


If you cannot work

You may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

Applying for 30 hours free childcare
You can apply for 30 hours free childcare in a single online childcare service application at

For more information visit: