Help with the cost of childcare and the free entitlement

Children playing with a sandpit

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Did you know you may be eligible for help towards your childcare costs?


30 Hour Free Childcare

Working parents of children aged 3 and 4 years old could be entitled for up to 30 hours free childcare a week.

Working includes  if you are employed, self-employed, and parents on zero hours contracts who meet the criteria.

A child qualifies for free childcare if they are resident in the England and under compulsory school age:

  • Both parents are working (or the sole parent in a lone parent family) and each parent earns, on average:

-  A weekly minimum wage equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage; and

-  Less than £100,000 per year.

Please visit Stockton Information Directory for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Please note the Citizen Portal is currently unavailable to check 30 hours codes, therefore please can parents take their 30 hours codes straight to your childcare provider or school.


Free childcare for two year olds

Your child may be entitled to a free childcare place for 15 hours a week during school term time.

Apply online here for your free childcare place


Golden Ticket

If you have received a Golden Ticket this means you are already eligible for a free nursery place and do not need to complete the eligibility form above. You will have received instructions with your Golden Ticket on how to access a free nursery place. 


Tax-Free Childcare: helping working parents pay for childcare

What is Tax-Free Childcare?

Tax-Free Childcare is a new UK-wide scheme will become available to around 2 million households. Designed to help working parents with their childcare costs, the scheme allows parents to open an online bank account to pay registered childcare providers directly. For every £8 parents pay into these accounts, the government will add £2. The money can then be spent on childcare. Parents can receive up to £2,000 in government support per child, per year, or £4,000 for disabled children.

Please visit the Stockton Information Directory for more information and how to apply.


Free nursery entitlement for three and four year olds

Three and four year olds are entitled to a free nursery place up to 15 hours per week. Your free entitlement can be used in:

  • Day nurseries, pre-school playgroups or childminders eligible to claim the free entitlement
  • Independent schools
  • LA maintained nurseries within primary schools


Disability Access Fund

The Disability Access Fund (DAF) was introduced in April 2017 to support disabled children’s access to the entitlements for three and four year olds. Providers receive £615 per eligible child per year. The funds could be used, for example, to support providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or help with building capacity, be that for the child in question or the benefit of children as a whole attending the setting.


Early Years Pupil Premium

Your chosen school, nursery or childminder may also be able to claim additional funding, through the Early Years Pupil Premium, to support your child’s development, learning and care if you are accessing the free entitlement for three and four year olds and meet certain criteria.

Visit the Stockton Information Directory for further childcare information

For more information on the above or if you require information on childcare providers in the area, please contact the Families Information Services on 01642 527225.

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