top of page

Funded Places

Day Care

What funding is your family eligible for?

There are a range of funded early education and childcare schemes available for parents and carers in England

Below we answer some of the most common questions on the various offers, including how to sign up for them.

Eligibility for the different funded early education and childcare schemes normally depends on two things:

  • the age of your child

  • your working status or income


Families with children under the age of two-years-olds aren’t currently eligible for any funded hours. 

Two Year Olds

Families with children aged two are currently eligible for 15 hours per week of funded care and education (for 38 weeks of the year) if they receive any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments

  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit (or both), and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax

  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

A child may also be 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

Three and Four Year Olds

Currently, all three- and four-year-olds can access 15 hours per week of funded care and education for 38 weeks of the year, regardless of the income or working status of their parent or carer. This is often described as a ‘universal offer’.

In addition, eligible working families of three- and four-year-olds can currently access 30 hours a week of funded care and education for 38 weeks of the year.

Families have to meet certain income requirements to be eligible for the current 30-hour offer for three- and four-year-olds.​


This eligibility criteria applies to each parent or carer in dual-parent households and the lone parent or carer in lone-parent households.

To be eligible, each parent or carer must:

  • Earn more than the equivalent of 16 hours at the national living wage or minimum wage per week. This means that over the next three months, you expect to earn at least £1,976 - the National Living Wage if you are 23 or older.

  • There is no requirement to work a certain number of hours per week – it is all about how much you earn. This means that, for example, if you only work 10 hours a week but earn £20 per hour, you will meet the minimum earning threshold. Apprentices are also eligible as long as they earn the equivalent to 16 hours at the apprentice minimum wage.


  • Earn less than £100,000 per year. Again this applies to each parent and carer in a dual-parent household. This means that if one parent earned £101,000 and the other earned £20,000, a family would not be eligible, but if both parents earned £99,000, the family would be eligible.

Information from:

bottom of page