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15 Hours Funded Childcare


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Changes to Funded Childcare from April 2024

In March 2023, the Government announced plans to increase access to funded childcare hours to include younger children. You may be eligible for 15 hours funding for your 2 year-old if you are working and earning at least the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national living or minimum wage, but less than £100,000 a year.

If you are a couple then this applies to each of you – if one of you doesn’t work, or one of you earns over £100,000 you won’t be eligible.

To find out more about the new funding, please sign up on the government Childcare Choices website.

Whilst the details of the new funding are being finalised, we are working towards being able to offer the new two-year-old funding in the vast majority of our nurseries making sure families use their funding to its full potential.

What is 15 Hours Funded Childcare?

In England, there are two government funded 15 hours free early education schemes that offer childcare for children aged two, three and four:

  • 15 hours funded childcare for eligible 2-year-olds
  • 15 hours funded childcare for all 3 and 4-year-olds

This means that your little one will get a funded childcare placement with a government approved provider (meaning they have to be registered with Ofsted and participate in the scheme).

Bright Horizons is an approved childcare provider and proudly takes part in this scheme.

15 Hours Funded Universal Childcare for 3 and 4 Year Olds

Every single child aged three and four is eligible for 15 hours funded childcare.

If your child is three or four years old and lives in England, you’re entitled to 15 hours funded childcare or early education per week for 38 weeks of the year (during term time). This comes to a total of 570 hours over a 12-month period.

Note: You’ll be asked to pay for the extra costs like meals, nappies, wipes, trips, etc. You can use the hours from 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child’s second birthday.

How Can I Apply for 15 Hours Funded Childcare?

All you need to do to receive these funded hours is contact your nursery, share proof of your child's age (their birth certificate) and fill out a declaration form. They will then apply on your behalf.

15 Hours Supported Childcare for 2-Year-Olds

15 hours Supported childcare for 2-year-olds

Your 2-year-old is eligible for 15 hours of Supported childcare per week if you live in England and get any of the following benefits:

They are also eligible if:

  • they are looked after by a local authority
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • get Disability Living Allowance
  • have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

Note: You can use the hours from 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child’s second birthday.

Are You a Non-UK Citizen?

If your immigration status says you have ‘no recourse to public funds’, you might still be able to get 15 hours of funded childcare for your 2-year-old. Your eligibility depends on the following:

  • You must live in England

...and your household income must be no more than:

  • £26,500 for families outside of London with one child
  • £34,500 for families within London with one child
  • £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
  • £38,600 for families within London with two or more children

You might be able to get 15 hours funded childcare for your 3 and 4 year old.

Note: You will not be eligible if you have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.

Download our guides

Discover more about what we can offer your family by downloading our easy to read set of guides. Explore our Bright Horizons nurseries and discover the funding options available - from funded childcare and tax free childcare, to childcare vouchers plus key dates. You can also find out what’s included in our fees and how we support families from the beginning.

Download Our Funding Guides
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