Free Childcare

Universal Free Childcare for Three and Four-Year-Olds

In England, families can benefit from 15 hours of free childcare or early education per week for their three and four-year-old children. This equates to 570 hours annually, spread over 38 weeks.

Key Points:

  • Available from the term after the child turns three until they start reception or reach compulsory school age.
  • Parents can choose to spread the 15 hours throughout the year or use them during term time. In Little Lionhearts Nursery School, free childcare is usually stretched to cover the entire 51 weeks of the year which the nursery school is open
  • Additional costs such as meals or nappies may still apply.

Extended 30 Hours Free Childcare

Eligible families can receive up to 30 hours of free childcare weekly for their three and four-year-olds. This totals 1,140 hours each year.

Eligibility for the Extended Hours:

  • Parents must work at least 16 hours per week and earn under £100,000 annually.
  • Both parents in a couple must meet these criteria.
  • Includes parents on maternity, paternity, adoption, or sick leave.
  • You can get 30 hours funded childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, Child Tax Credits, Childcare Vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare.

Application and Maintenance:

  • Apply online through the gov.uk website.
  • You receive a code for your childcare provider.
  • Confirm details every three months to retain the extra hours.

Upcoming Expansion of the Scheme

From September 2025, the 30-hour free childcare scheme will include children aged nine months to four years for working parents. The rollout will be phased:

  • From April 2024, 15 hours for two-year-olds.
  • From September 2024, 15 hours for children aged nine months to two years.
  • From September 2025, 30 hours for children aged nine months to three years.

Support for Disadvantaged Two-Year-Olds

Disadvantaged two-year-olds in England are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare weekly. Eligibility depends on family circumstances, such as receiving certain benefits or being under local authority care.

Funded Spaces at Little Lionhearts Nursery School

At Little Lionhearts Nursery School, we offer a limited number of funded spaces, and we advise parents to apply as early as possible to secure these benefits. To provide greater flexibility for families, we typically stretch the funding to cover 51 weeks throughout the year. However, please be aware that there are charges for meals and sundries, as these are not covered by the funding. For more detailed information about our fees and funding, including the additional charges, please visit the ‘Fees and Funding‘ page on our website.

Registered Name: Little Lionhearts Nursery School
Address: 103-105 Greenford Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3QF
Local Authority: London Borough of Harrow
URN: 2534569

Eligibility and Application: Contact our nursery manager for assistance with eligibility and using your funding at Little Lionhearts. For registered families, an eligibility checker form is available; please obtain the password from our nursery staff.

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