Find out about 15 hours free childcare for three and four year-olds

If you have a child aged three or four, they can get 15 hours a week of free childcare / early education regardless of the family’s income or residency status. Your child would be entitled to this free place starting from the new term after their third birthday.

The 15 hours a week is available for 38 weeks of the year (a total of 570 hours per year), that you may use flexibly with one or more childcare providers (depending on the provider). Some childcare providers will allow you to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours each week.

Free 15-hour childcare places are available at participating:

  • Nurseries and nursery classes
  • Playgroups and pre-schools
  • Childminders

The 15 hours free childcare offer does not cover the cost of meals and items such as nappies or sun cream, additional hours or activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these extras. If you choose to pay for these it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider. The provider must not ask you to pay any additional fee as a condition of taking up a 15 hour free place. 


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