Family Information

30 hours free childcare

Eligible families can get an additional 15 hours per week of free childcare for 38 weeks a year. This is on top of the 15 hours per week of free early education that all three and four year olds are entitled to.

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 £120 if you’re over 25

This earnings limit does not apply if you are self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.

You are not eligible if:

  • your child doesn’t usually live with you
  • the child is your foster child
  • either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000

You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits or childcare vouchers.

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.

How to apply 

Applications can be made online using the HMRC portal.  If eligible, an eligibility code will be issued which will need to be validated with a childcare provider within three months of the date issued. 

Eligibility start date

Eligibility will only start at the beginning of the school term after the code has been issued and cannot start part way through a term.  Therefore, parents who wish to receive the offer will need to apply before a new school term starts. 

Eligible parents are required to re-check their eligibility on a termly basis.  A reminder is issued by the HMRC to the email address given on registration.   Parents that are no longer eligible will enter a grace period.

Please note:

  • The eligibility code issued by the HMRC will need to be validated with a childcare provider within three months of the date issued.
  • You are required to re-check your eligibility on a termly basis
  • A reminder will be issued by the HMRC to your registered email account.

Further support

For assistance in completing your application contact the HMRC's Customer Interaction Centre on 0300 123 4097.