Funded childcare for three and four-year-olds

All three and four-year-old children can receive up to 570 hours of funded early education and childcare per year. This is known as the universal entitlement, because it is available for all children. You do not need to apply for this entitlement.

Funded entitlement

Your child can start their funded entitlement in the funding period following their 3rd birthday until they start a place in school Reception class, which is usually the September following their 4th birthday.

Please note: if your child is starting a school Reception place in September, the funded entitlement cannot be claimed at a childminder, day nursery or pre-school between 1 September and the start of the school term.

Birthday eligibility for funded childcare for three and four-year-olds

A child who turns 3 on or between

Will be eligible for their funded entitlement from

1 April and 31 August

1 September following their 3rd birthday

1 September and 31 December

1 January following their 3rd birthday

1 January and 31 March

1 April following their 3rd birthday

The funded entitlement is commonly offered by childcare providers as 15 hours per week over 38 weeks of the year (term-time offer, generally linked to school term-times). The entitlement can also be "stretched" at some childcare providers, which means that fewer hours can be taken over more weeks of the year, commonly offered as 11 hours per week, each week of the year. Spreading the entitlement over the year is a flexible option, particularly useful for working parents.

All pre-schools and day nurseries, and most childminders in Peterborough offer the universal entitlement for three and four-year-olds.

Search for a childcare provider near your home or work online.

What you need to do

You do not need to apply for this entitlement or have a code to access it.

You should contact the childcare provider of your choice to see if they have space for your child. If they do, you will be asked by the childcare provider to complete a form before your child starts. You will also be asked to provide identification for your child (such as birth certificate) to allow them to check your child is the right age for the universal entitlement. The childcare provider will then submit a claim to us for your child's funded hours.

The funded entitlement covers the universal hours only and is not intended to cover the cost of meals. Other charges for consumables or additional services may apply; you should agree any additional charges or fees with your childcare provider before your child starts their funded place.

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