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Upcoming changes to funded Childcare

If you’re in work you might be able to get 15 hours of funded childcare a week from 1 April 2024. This is often called ‘free hours’.  You can usually get 15 hours of funded childcare if both the following apply:

·      your child is 2 years old or will turn 2 years old before 1 April 2024

·      you earn at least £8,670 a year and less than £100,000 a year adjusted net income, which is your income after some tax reliefs and deductions.

If you’re a couple, you'll both need to be working and earn between these amounts.

If you already get 15 funded hours of childcare from the government you can’t get these hours as well, but you can get the 15 hours of funded childcare at the same time as using Tax-Free Childcare or Universal Credit for childcare.

Check when it starts

If you're eligible you’ll get 15 hours of funded childcare:

The term after your child turns 2 years old.

If your child is already 2 or turns 2 before 31/03/2024, you’ll get the hours from 1/04/24.

If your child turns 2 between 01/04/24 and 31/04/24 you’ll get the hours from 01/09/24.

From 01/09/2024 the scheme will be extended to include children aged 9 months plus.


Check what it will cover

You’ll get 15 hours of funded childcare a week for 38 weeks a year. Childcare providers might stretch the hours for up to 52 weeks, this means you’ll get less than 15 hours a week.

You can use the funded hours with any childcare provider that has signed up to the scheme. This could be a nursery, school/pre-school, childminder, playgroup or Sure Start Children’s Centre.

Not all childcare providers will offer the new funded hours. Some might not have decided yet - they might be waiting for more information from their local authority.

You’ll need to get a code for the funded hours to give to your childcare provider. You’ll need to claim your code before 31 March 2024.  How to claim your code depends on whether you have a government ‘childcare account’. You’ll already have a childcare account if you get Tax-Free Childcare.  If you don’t have a childcare account, you need to apply on

This information has been tailored from one of our trusted resources, the Citizens Advice website


PWCAC is OPEN for face-to-face advice (appointments and drop-ins) Monday to Friday, 9:30 – 1:30. If you need advice about consumer issues, housing and homelessness, debt, relationship breakdown, welfare benefits or anything else, get in touch with us: | 01892 838619  94 Commercial Road, Paddock Wood, TN12 6DP

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