Early Education Grant (funded hours) – what you need to know
Free Funded Childcare
Discover Your Childcare Entitlements
3 and 4 years olds
All parents of 3 and 4 year-olds are entitled to the 15 hours funding from the term after your child’s 3rd birthday and until they start school, you can get 570 hours of government-funded childcare a year.
Nursery will apply for this on your behalf
2 years olds
Some parents will be able to apply for 15 hours funding for 2 year olds if you are in receipt of certain benefits such as Income Support or Universal Credit, or your child has Disability Living Allowance or and Education, health, care plan (EHC) plan, you may get 15 funded hours for your child.
You should speak to your local council unless you receive a letter.
3 and 4 years olds
Your child may be eligible for an additional 15 hours (30 hours funding). You must be working and earning at least the equivalent of 16 hours a week at national living or minimum wage, but less than £100,000 a year. If you are a couple, then this applies to each of you – if one of you doesn’t work, or one of you earns over £100,000 you won’t be eligible.
You need to apply for the additional 15 hours through the governments website. Apply for 30 funded childcare usually takes around 20 minutes. You will need your National Insurance number (or your Unique Taxpayer Reference if you are self employed). If you are a couple, you will need this information for each of you.
If you are successful, you will need to bring you eligibility code into nursery.
Funded hours will be changing
In March 2023, the Government announced plans to increase access to funded childcare hours to include younger children. The phased introduction of this plan begins in April 2024 through to September 2025.
Accessing early education funding
The following dates show from which term your child will be eligible for accessing early education funding. Please note these dates are determined by central government (and are in line with school admissions) and hence exceptions can not be made.
|Birthday on or between
|Eligible to start
|1 January – 31st March (inclusive)
|1 April – 31st August (inclusive)
|1 September – 31 December (inclusive)
Children accessing early education can claim up to 570 hours per year (or up to 1,140 hours where eligible for the extended 15 hours). At Stockport Village Nursery, we are open 51 weeks of the year, we offer the hours on a ‘spread’ basis over the year.
Totally ‘free’ places are subject to availability. These hours must be claimed over a minimum of 2 sessions per week, which cannot be less than 3 hours per day.
Tax Free Childcare
Fees may be partly/fully paid using Tax Free Childcare, whereby the government will contribute £2 for every £8 of childcare costs. This enables you to claim up to £2,000 per annum for each of your children.
To access Tax Free Childcare, please follow these steps: