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Earliest Start Date:

Child has 2nd or 3rd birthday in
Earliest Start Date1st Claim Period
January, February or March 1 AprilSummer 2024
April, May, June, July or August1 SeptemberAutumn 2024
September, October, November or December1 JanuarySpring 2025

Working Families MUST have a valid HMRC code to claim the funding:

To claim funding from:The code must be valid on or by:
1 April31 March
1 September31 August
1 January31 December

Visit Childcare Choices for more information about the entitlements and the support available to families to pay childcare fees.


Families must receive a qualifying benefit, or their child meets certain non-benefit criteria to receive this funding. It is available from the start of the claim period following the child's second birthday.

The criteria can be found here - Help paying for childcare: Free education and childcare for 2-year-olds - GOV.UK (

If you or your child meets the criteria, please apply for a NEO code.


The Entitlements:

  • From 1 April 2024 - Up to 15 hours per week for 2- year-old children
  • From 1 September 2024 - Up to 15 hours per week for under 2- year-old (9 months) children
  • From 1 September 2025 - Up to 30 hours per week for under 2- (9 months) to 4- year-olds children

Accessing these entitlements will depend on:

  • a child’s age and circumstances
  • whether the parent/carer is working (employed, self-employed, or a director)
  • their income (and partner’s income if they have one)
  • and immigration status
and having a valid HMRC eligibility code in place by the start of the claim period.


All 3 and 4 year olds can receive up to 15 hours of funded childcare a week, to a maximum of 570 over three claim periods.

Providers can offer the entitlement “stretched” where less funded hours are taken over more weeks.

Families will no longer be able to claim the entitlement once their child starts in a stated funded reception class or reaches compulsory school age.