How flexibly can I take the 30 hours of free childcare?

Your child is entitled to access up to 30 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, which is equivalent of a total of 1140 hours per year.
You may be able to choose a different pattern of attendance depending on which school / childcare provider you choose to use.

There are some conditions related to flexibility: 

  • no session is to be longer than 10 hours
  • no minimum session length (subject to the requirements of registration on the Ofsted Early Years Register)
  • not before 6.00am or after 8.00pm
  • a maximum of two sites in a single day

Some providers offer a “flexible” offer to better meet parents’ year-round childcare needs. You should discuss if this is available with the school / childcare provider.


  • 38 weeks standard offer: 30 hours per week, term-time only
  • 45 weeks ‘stretched’ offer: 25 hours per week plus flexible 15 hours delivered as agreed between parent and provider.
  • 51 weeks ‘stretched’ offer: 22 hours per week plus flexible 18 hours delivered as agreed between parents and provider.

You are also able to use the 15 hours extra hours before and after school and during school holidays, again depending on which school / childcare provider may offer this and you choose to use (including childminders).

Ealing's Parent and Young Person's portal will be unavailable on Thursday 25th August due to system updates. You will not be able to complete any applications for two year old childcare funding during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.