You may be able to get up to 30 hours free childcare (1,140 hours per year, which you can choose how you take) if your child is 3 to 4 years old.
- must be with an approved childcare provider
- stops when your child starts in reception class (or reaches compulsory school age, if later)
If you’re eligible for the extra hours, you sign up online to get a code to give to your childcare provider to reserve your place. You’ll get the extra hours once the next term starts.
You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:
- in work - or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave
- each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week - this is £125.28 if you’re over 25
This earnings limit does not apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.
You’re not eligible if:
- your child does not usually live with you
- the child is your foster child
- either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000
- you’re from outside the EEA and your UK residence card says you cannot access public funds
You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits, childcare vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare.
If you cannot work
You may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.
Apply online for 30 hours free childcare