Three and four year olds
All three and four year old children in England are entitled to free early education.
Who is eligible
All three and four year old children are eligible regardless of their family's household income, employment or immigration status. The free childcare offer is 15 hours per week during term time, or 570 hours stretched across the year. Read more information about the stretched offer.
The free entitlement is available from the start of the school term following the child's third birthday. See eligible age range for more information.
How to apply
No application is required as this offer is open to all three and four year old children. All you need to do is contact the childcare provider you are interest in to see if they have available space.
If the setting is right for your child and meet your child care needs, the provider will go through the registration forms with you. This will include a parental agreement for receiving the free entitlement.
30 hours extended entitlement
Workings parents may be eligible for the extended entitlement which will increase the free childcare offer to a maximum of 30 hours per week during term time.
Where are the free places
Free early education is available at childcare settings who have been approved by the local authority to offer funded places. The approved settings will include childminders, pre-schools, nurseries and school based nurseries. All settings follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.