3 & 4 year olds - 30 hours
Funding for 3 and 4 year olds
All three and four year olds living in England are entitled to 570 hours of free early education and childcare a year. This is usually offered as 15 hours a week for up to 38 weeks a year and is a universal entitlement. From September 2017 the government have increased the free hours from 15 to 30 a week for children of working families who meet the eligibility criteria. This means that eligible children will be able to receive up to 1140 hours of free childcare a year. These changes will be introduced as part of the Childcare Act 2016.
The extra free hours will be made available to families where both parents (or the sole parent in a lone parent family):
- are working and earn on average a weekly minimum amount equivalent to working 16 hours at either National Minimum Wage (NMW), National Living Wage (NLW) or National Apprentice Rate
- have an income of no more than £100,000 each per year
- live in England
You may still be eligible to apply if you or your partner:
- are taking paid time off work, such as maternity leave, paternity leave or sick leave
- are temporarily away from England for a period of up to 6 months, such as on military duty
You can also apply if either you or your partner are employed or self-employed and one of you gets one of more of the following benefits:
- contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit or long-term Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- National Insurance credits because of incapacity or limited capability for work
- you've been assessed as having limited capability for work for Universal Credit purposes
How Do I Claim?
To claim the 30 free hours of childcare, you must apply through the Childcare Choices Government website: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
This site will help you to see what childcare support you are entitled to. If you are eligible for the 30 free hours, you will be given an 11-digit code and will be told when you can start to use your funded hours.
Once you have the code, give it to us and we can then help to submit a form to Surrey County Council. It’s really important that you check your eligibility as soon as possible as Surrey County Council will not fund children without confirmation of eligibility codes first.
If you have any problems when applying for the 30 free hours children, you can contact the government's Customer Interaction Centre on 0300 123 4097.
If you wish to start using the 30 hours free childcare you need to apply through www.childcarechoices.gov.uk by the end of the term before you want your funding to begin.
- Autumn Term (September start date) 31st August
- Spring Term (January start date) 31st December
- Summer Term (April start date) 31st March
Anyone who applies after the deadline will not be able to take up their free extended hours until the following term.
For more information please feel free to email email@example.com