All 3 and 4-year-olds, living in England, are entitled to 570 hours funded early education (up to 15 hours per week), over three claim periods each year. This is known as the Universal Offer.

Working and foster parents of 3 and 4-year-olds may be entitled to 1140 hours funded early education (up to 30 hours per week), if certain criteria is met. This is known as the Extended Offer.

Government funding for early education is intended to cover the cost to deliver 15 or 30 hours a week of funded, high quality, flexible childcare. It is not intended to cover the cost of meals, consumables, additional hours or additional services.

Your childcare provider will charge for any hours not funded.

Meals, snacks and consumables may also incur a cost.  Although these charges must be voluntary, parent/carers should expect to pay for these or agree to supply their own.

All providers offering early education in Norfolk have signed a funding agreement which means they agree to meet the terms of national guidelines.  How your chosen childcare provider offers early education and the pattern of attendance may restrict the number of hours that can be claimed in total.


Visit the Childcare Choices webpage to find out more about help to pay for your childcare or complete the basic steps to check your eligibility to claim.

To claim the universal offer (up to 15 hours)
Step 1
Find a childcare provider that meets your families needs.
Step 2

Contact your chosen provider to agree your childcare arrangements.

To apply for the extended offer (up to 30 hours)
Step 1

You can apply from when your child is 2 years and 9 months.

If your child turns 3

  • Between 1 Sept to 31 Dec, they can get 30 hours from 1st Jan, and it is recommended to apply between 15 Oct to 30 Nov
  • Between 1 Jan to 31 Mar, they can get 30 hours from 1st Apr, and it is recommended to apply between 15 Jan to 28 Feb
  • Between 1 Apr to 31 Aug, they can get 30 hours from 1st Sept, and it is recommended to apply between 15 Jun to 31 Jul

You can apply outside of these recommended dates but you might not receive your code in time.

You must have a valid code by the end of the month before a new claim period starts.

Create or sign in to a HMRC childcare account to obtain an eligibility code or ask your social worker if you are a foster carer.

Step 2

If your eligibility is confirmed, your next step is to find a childcare provider that offers the funding.

Step 3
Contact your chosen provider to agree your childcare arrangements.
Need help?
Contact

Call 0344 800 8020

or

email fis@norfolk.gov.uk

Quicklinks
Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline remains available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education and children’s social care.

Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling 0800 046 8687

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm