Funded early education for 2, 3 and 4 year olds and help with childcare costs

Looking for a funded early education place in Staffordshire?

Our online directory can provide parents with details of local nurseries, preschools and childminders who offer funded early education places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds, includes the new working parent entitlements coming in for 2 year olds from April 2024 and for children aged from 9 months from Sept 2025.

Check out our videos outlining Jo, Nicole and Amy's story.   These local parents talk about how funded childcare has helped their children.

Funding for 2 year olds - Working Parent Entitlement - NEW !!

From April 2024 -  working parents could be eligible for up to 15 hours of funded childcare for 38 weeks a year, or up 570 hours stretched over more weeks of the year. Speak to your childcare provider for details.

Parents can apply to Childcare Choices from January 2024. Check out more details

Funding for 2 year olds ( Think2 ) - Families receiving additional government support

Some families with 2 year old children could be eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare per week over 38 weeks, or by spreading the 570 hours across more weeks of the whole year. Speak to your childcare provider for details.

Families must meet a criteria. The funding is to help parents in low income households and those with DLA, have EHCP or are in or have been in care. Parents can apply online.

Check eligibility and apply

3 and 4 year olds - 15 hours for all families & 30 Hours for Working Parents

Universal 15 hours - All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours of funded childcare over 38 weeks, or the 570 hours is spread across a whole year, from the term after turning 3 years old.

Parents should simply enquire with their childcare provider who will make the claim on your child's behalf. Find out more.

30 hours for Working families with children aged 3 & 4 years coild be eligible for additional 15 hours of funded childcare (30 hours in total) to the equivalent of 1140 per year).

For this addtional 15 hours, families must meet the eligibility criteria and parenst must make an application online via Childcare Choices (HMRC) who will confirm eligibility.

Parents who are successful must provide their code to their early years setting so they can claim for these additional hours on your behalf. Parents will be required to re-confirm their eligibility with Childcare Choices every 3 months.

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) is extra funding that is available to support eligible 3 and 4 year olds who access the universal 15 funded hours.

Childcare providers could claim up to £353 per year for each eligible child, this equates to an extra 0.62 pence per hour against the universal hours.

Check out if your child is eligible and how EYPP can improve you child's education. Speak to your childcare provider about applying for EYPP.

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Children aged 3 and 4 years old, who are in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and accessing universal 15 hours of funded child could be eligible to apply for additional funding through the Disability Access Fund (DAF).

Childcare providers could get access to a one a payment of £828 per calendar year for each eligible child that could aid in making reasonable adjustments at the setting and improve accessibility.

Potentially eligible parents should speak to their childcare setting about DAF. For more information and how to apply can be found on our DAF page

Tax free childcare – Up to £4,000 per year for a disabled child and £2000 per year all children to help towards childcare costs

Working families could be entitled to claim for up £2000 per year for any child if the family meet the eligibility criteria. For parents with a disabled child, up to £4,000 per year is available towards childcare costs. The funding can be used for childcare that parents pay for. 

To qualify - children must be aged between 0-11 years (or 0-17 years for disabled children).

Tax-Free Childcare can be used all year round to help pay for cost at:

  • Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • Registered after-school clubs and playschemes
  • Registered schools
  • Home careworkers working for a registered home care agency

Eligibility and application is handled through Childcare Choices (HMRC), for more information and to apply:

Visit the Childcare Choices website.

Other support for childcare costs

Other than Tax Free Childcare, further help could be available for parents through:

Parents who are in further education could get support through:


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