All parents and carers of 3 and 4 year-old children can claim up to 570 hours a year of early education and childcare (split over three funding blocks). This is known as 'Universal Childcare Support' or the 'Free Entitlement.'
Some parents and carers might be eligible for additional help with childcare costs, such as:
- Early Education and Childcare Funding for 2 Year-Olds (apply here)
- Extended Early Education and Childcare Funding for 3 and 4 Year-Olds, 30 Hours Funding (apply here)
- Extended Early Education and Childcare Funding for Foster Children (apply here)
- The Early Years Pupil Premium – This is applied for by the childcare provider
You can calculate when funded childcare will start for your child using this online eligibility checker.
Parents and carers can access funded childcare places at most OFSTED-registered childcare providers. These include:
- Private day nurseries
- Pre-school playgroups
- Maintained nurseries
- Childminders and childminder agencies
- Independent schools
Details of local childcare providers can be found on the Children and Families Service Finder (FIS).