All children in England get 570 free hours per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks, for example. You can get it from the term after your child’s 3rd birthday.
You may be able to get up to 30 hours free childcare (1,140 hours per year, which you can choose how you take).
If you’re eligible for the extra hours, you sign up online to get a code to give to your childcare provider to reserve your place. You’ll get the extra hours once the next term starts.
You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:
- in work – or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave
- each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week – this is £120 if you’re over 25
- This earnings limit doesn’t apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.
You’re not eligible if:
- your child doesn’t usually live with you
- the child is your foster child
- either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000