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Take up 15 hours childcare for your 3 or 4-year old

When to take up your 15 hours childcare

Your child's birthday tells you when they can begin their 15 hours funded childcare
If your child turns 3 before these deadlines They can take up their 15 hours from

31 August

September (The Autumn term)

31 March

April (The Summer term)

31 December

January (The Spring term)

The scheme is usually taken up as 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year (570 hours in total). This lines up with school term times.

Sometimes, people choose to take fewer hours per week but over more weeks. This is called a ‘stretched’ offer. If this is something you would like to do, check with your childcare provider to see if they offer this.

The scheme can only be used at ‘approved childcare’ providers participating in the scheme. These could be:

  • registered childminder, playscheme, nursery or club
  • childminder registered with a childminder agency
  • maintained school or academy

Once your child is attending a reception class within a maintained school or academy this is your total free entitlement and you must not make a claim from another provider.