If you have a child aged three or four, they can get 15 hours a week of free childcare / early education regardless of the family’s income or residency status. Your child would be entitled to this free place starting from the new term after their third birthday.
The 15 hours a week is available for 38 weeks of the year (a total of 570 hours per year), that you may use flexibly with one or more childcare providers (depending on the provider). Some childcare providers will allow you to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours each week.
Free 15-hour childcare places are available at participating:
- Nurseries and nursery classes
- Playgroups and pre-schools
The 15 hours free childcare offer does not cover the cost of meals and items such as nappies or sun cream, additional hours or activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these extras. If you choose to pay for these it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider. The provider must not ask you to pay any additional fee as a condition of taking up a 15 hour free place.
You can search this directory for your nearest childcare provider. Just enter ‘nursery’ or ‘childminder’ etc and your postcode at the top of this page. The Family Information Service (FIS) can also send you a list of participating childcare providers near you and they can explain how it all works when your child goes from nursery to starting school.
Contact the Family Information Service on 020 8825 5588 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org