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Expansion to Funded Childcare

The government is extending childcare to support working parents returning to work after their parental leave ends.

By September 2025, working parents of all children over the age of nine months will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare. So that nurseries and childminders can prepare to deliver such a major expansion, it will be rolled out in phases: ​​

  • from April 2024, working parents of 2-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours childcare
  • from September 2024, 15 hours childcare will be extended to all children from age of 9 months​​
  • from September 2025, working parents of children under the age of 5 will be entitled to 30 hours childcare per week

Visit the GOV.UK website for further information on free childcare.

Parents of 2 year olds can start applying for a funded place from 2 January 2024. Sign in to your childcare account to apply. Once you have applied and are eligible you will be able to access a place from April 2024.

Children who will be 9 months old during the period April to August will be able to access a funded place from September 2024. This page will be updated with details of when you will be able to apply for a funded place.

For all funded children of working parents you must remember to reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months.

Childcare for primary school-age children

Local authorities and schools will be given more funding to set up what's known as 'wraparound care' outside of normal school hours, so that parents of school-age children can access childcare in their local area from 8am to 6pm. This could include breakfast clubs and after-school clubs. We expect that by September 2026, most primary schools will be able to provide their own before and after school care.

Visit the GOV.UK website for further information about breakfast clubs.​ 

Support for people on Universal Credit

Parents on Universal Credit are also set to get further support. Currently, up to 85% of childcare costs can be claimed back. However, by Summer 2023 parents will be able to access the funds upfront to make it easier for them to get a job or increase their hours. This removes any gap in funds and eases parents into the childcare costs payment cycle.​ The maximum amount of support will also be increased by almost 50%, to £951 for those with one child and to £1,630 for those with two.​