15 to 30 Hours Free Funding

Who’s eligible for the funding?

It’s designed for working families with 3 or 4 year olds, where both parents live and work in the UK. So, you and your partner will both need to earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum wage or living wage and no more than £100,000 a year each.

What funding will I actually get?

You’ll be entitled to up to 30 hours of funded childcare a week (1,140 hours per year). 

When can my funding start?

You can claim up to 30 hours of free childcare from the start of the term after your child turns 3. Terms follow the school year. For example, if your child’s birthday is in July, provided you are eligible for 30 hours you’ll get the funding from September.

To get started, you’ll need to apply through the Childcare Choices website and get an eligibility code, but we’ll tell you more about that in Step 2: How do I apply?

What’s the difference between the existing 15 hour scheme and this one?

Families with 3 and 4 year olds already get 15 hours of funded childcare per week in term time. That’s a universal scheme, so everyone can benefit, whether they’re working or not. The new scheme is just for working families, and it increases funding from 15, to 30 hours.

When should I apply?

After your Childs 3rd birthday you will officially be eligible for funding from the start of that first term.

To make sure you get your code as soon as possible, you’ll need to apply before the end of the previous term. However you can apply for your code up to 16 weeks before your childs third birthday, we recommend that you apply early so that we can assist you with help if needed.

Where do I apply?

Go to childcarechoices.gov.uk to apply. Once you’re done, they’ll send you a code, which you’ll need to give to us so we can set your funded hours up.

Do I need to apply again for the next term?

Yes. The way the scheme’s set up, you’ll be asked to confirm if you are still eligible every three months.. You’ll be sent a reminder when it’s time and it will only take a couple minutes to complete.

Need more detail?

You can find out more about the funding at childcarechoices.gov.uk or call the government’s Childcare Service Helpline on 0300 123 4097.

How does it work at petite?

Whether you’re already part of the Petites family, or you’re thinking of joining us, once you’ve got your code from childcarechoices.gov.uk, come in for a chat.

We really want the funding to work for your whole family, so whether your child needs year-round care or part-time support, we’ll put together a package that makes life easier - and more affordable.

We’ll talk with you about what you need, explain a bit more about how the scheme works and help you through the process, step by step. If you know you need certain days and times, it’s a good idea to talk to us early so we can get you booked in.

Do I have to use all of my hours?

Not at all. Just use the hours you’d like to.

Is the funding just available in term time?

Yes, the scheme only gives you funding during the opening hours at Petite. But we’re very happy to stretch your funding across the whole year, averaging your funded hours out for up to 52 weeks; termly funding options are also available.

Like a bit more detail?


You can find out more about the funding at childcarechoices.gov.uk or call the government’s Childcare Service Helpline on 0300 123 4097.