Working parents entitlement

To access 30 hours extended entitlement you must have applied for, and be in receipt of, an eligibility code by the following deadlines:

  • 31 August - funding starting in the autumn term
  • 31 December - funding starting in the spring term
  • 31 March - funding starting in the summer term

It can take up to 15 days from date of application for HRMC to issue a code. The validity start date is the date a code is issued and not the date of application.

Make sure you allow enough time when applying to make sure your code is received by the relevant deadlines detailed above.

Entitlement by age group

Children aged 3 to 4 years

For children aged 3 to 4 years, you will receive:

  • up to 30 hours of early education and childcare per week over 38 weeks of the year
  • a total of 1,140 hours per year that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare providers

Entitlement will be available from the term after your child’s third birthday.

Children aged 2 years

For children aged 2 years, you will receive:

  • up to 15 hours of early education and childcare per week over 38 weeks of the year
  • a total of  570 hours per year that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare providers

Entitlement will be available from the term after your child’s second birthday.

Children aged 9 months to 2 years (from 1 September 2024)

For children aged 9 months to 2 years, you will receive

  • up to 15 hours of early education and childcare per week over 38 weeks of the year
  • a total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare providers

Entitlement will be available from the term after your child is aged 9 months.

Entitlement from September 2025

From September 2025, if your child is eligible and aged 9 months to 4 years, you will receive:

  • up to 30 hours of early education and childcare per week over 38 weeks of the year
  • a total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare providers

Entitlement will be available from the term after your child is aged 9 months.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible you or your partner must expect to earn at least the equivalent to 16 hours per week at the National Minimum or Living Wage.

You could still be eligible if you or your partner are:

  • on maternity, paternity or adoption leave
  • unable to work because you are disabled
  • unable to work because you have caring responsibilities

You will not be eligible if either of you expect to earn £100,000 adjusted net income or more.

You can use the working parent entitlement in addition to the 15 hours available for all 3 and 4 year olds.

How use your entitlement

If you qualify for the entitlement, you will get an 11 digit code. 

Give this code to your childcare provider who will confirm it is valid and when your funding will start date. You will then agree the hours your child will attend childcare.

You must reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months by logging into your childcare account. HMRC will send you reminders by email.

If you no longer meet the criteria when it's time to reconfirm your eligibility, you will be given a limited 'grace period' to make changes to your working status. During this period, funding for your entitlement will continue.

The grace period end date will be applied to your eligibility code. The table shows grace period end dates.

Funding will stop if the grace period expires and you remain ineligible.

Date parent receives ineligible decision on reconfirmation Local authority audit date Grace period end date
1 January to 10 February 11 February 31 March
11 February to 31 March 1 April 31 August
1 April to 26 May 27 May 31 August
27 May to 31 August 1 September 31 December
1 September to 21 October 22 October 31 December
22 October to 31 December 1 January 31 March

We will tell childcare providers about children who no longer meet the eligibility criteria. We will also let them know when their grace period will end. Childcare providers will then talk to parents about any changes to attendance patterns and payment options.

Apply for working parents entitlement

You need to apply directly to HMRC on their website. The council and childcare providers cannot help with this process.

Use the button below to go to the GOV.UK information page and application form.

Apply online at GOV.UK

If you cannot access the website or need help with your application, call the HMRC Customer Interaction Centre on 0300 123 4097.

If you want to review or appeal an application, contact HMRC.

More information

More information about government help with childcare costs is available on the Childcare Choices website.

Contact information

Early Years Team