30 Hours Free Entitlement

Currently, all 3-4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours per week of government funded education/childcare during term time.   From September 2017 children of working parents may be eligible for an additional 15 hours a week (30 hours free entitlement).

Breakfast, lunch and after school provision are not part of the free 30 hours entitlement.

Who is eligible for the 30 hours?

The Childcare Act 2016 defines a 3 or 4 year-old as a child of working parents if one of the following applies:

  • Both parents are working
  • The sole parent in a lone parent family is working
  • Both parents are working but at least one parent is temporarily away on maternity, adoption, or statutory sick leave
  • One parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities and receives specific benefits for caring
  • One parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated and receives specific benefits


  • Each parent (or the working parent, in families where only one parent can work) earns at least the equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum wage per week but less than £100,000 per year

To find out if you are eligible and for more information please follow this link: