If your child is aged two, three or four you might be able to get free early education and childcare. How much you get, depends on the age of your child and your circumstances.
The Free Early Education Entitlement scheme provides:
- up to 15 hours per week of free childcare for eligible 2 year olds
- up to 15 or 30 hours per week of free childcare for all 3-4-year-olds in England
- an additional 15 hours a week for eligible working parents of 3-4 year olds.
The scheme is based on a maximum of 38 weeks a year (roughly equivalent to school term time). Your 15 hours of free early education each week can be spread across more than one provider.
Using your free hours
You can use your Free Early Education hours at any of the following Ofsted-registered:
- private nurseries
- registered childminders
It is important to discuss the number of free hours your chosen provider can offer to ensure they cover your childcare needs. If your child attends more than the maximum number of free hours per week, you will need to pay for the extra hours.
Children do not have to have pre-school education and as a parent, you can decide whether you think your child will benefit.