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30 hours of funded childcare for eligible 3 and 4-year-olds

Working parents in Derbyshire could be entitled to 30 hours of funded childcare a week.

Working parents of 3 and 4-year-olds in Derbyshire that meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to 30 hours of funded childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year. This is an additional 15 hours on top of the universal 15 hours available to all 3 and 4-year-old children.

Eligibility for 30 hours funded childcare

Working parents includes employed, self-employed and workers on a zero hours contract.

To take up the 30 hours of funded childcare families need to meet all the following criteria:

  • each parent earns less than £100,000 per year
  • both parents are working and in a lone parent family the sole parent must work
  • each parent works a minimum of 16 hours a week or earns on average a weekly minimum amount that is equivalent to 16 hours a week at either the national minimum wage or national living wage

There are exceptions to both parents having to work. Families where one parent does not work (or neither parent works) will not usually be entitled to the 15 hours extended entitlement; however, they will be eligible where:

  • both parents are employed but one (or both parents) is temporarily away from the workplace on: parental, maternity, or paternity leave; adoption leave; or on statutory sick pay
  • one parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring or is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits

You can apply for 30 hours funded childcare if you’re starting or re-starting work within the next 31 days.

How to apply

Eligibility for the 30 hours of funded childcare is determined by HMRC. 

Check your eligibility and apply for 30 hours funding

If you need assistance to apply, or experiencing problems with the online application process, you can contact the Childcare Service helpline at HMRC tel: 0300 123 4097 (phone line is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm).

To complete the application, you provide your name, address, and national insurance number, as well as whether you expect to meet the income requirements over the next 3 months and whether you are in receipt of any benefits.

If you live with a partner, you will need to provide the same information for them as well. This will enable HMRC to decide whether your child is eligible for the 30 hours.

When to apply for 30 hours of funded childcare

You can apply from when your child is 2 years and 36 weeks old, however HMRC recommend the following.

Recommended time to apply for 30 hours of funded childcare
When your child turns 3When they can get 30 hours fromRecommended time to apply
1 September to 31 December Term starting on or after 1 January 15 October to 30 November
1 January to 31 March Term starting on or after 1 April 15 January to 28 February
1 April to 31 August Term starting on or after 1 September 15 June to 31 July

You can apply outside of these recommended dates, but you might not receive your code in time. You must have a valid code by the end of the month before a new term starts.

Reconfirming your code

You will need to reconfirm your details approximately every 3 months to prove you still meet the eligibility criteria. Reconfirmation periods may fall in line with older siblings which may make the validity period of your code initially shorter than the approximate 3 months, therefore, it is important that you check the end date in your childcare account.

To renew your code, you will need to log into your childcare account.

When you're in the account go to 'secure messages'. You can access this section at any time. Check the 'reconfirmation' section to find your reconfirmation date. You can reconfirm your eligibility up to 4 weeks before your reconfirmation date. HMRC should also send you reminders when your reconfirmation date is due.

Please remember to check your junk email folder for reminders from HMRC, as these can sometimes be mistaken by your email provider as junk.

If you have applied more than 3 months before the term starts, you’ll have to reconfirm your eligibility in your account to keep your code valid even if you haven't started using the funding yet.

How to find a childcare place

There is a choice of early education providers such as a school nursery class, preschool playgroup, private day nursery or childminder. You can search approved providers on the childcare directory to find a place. You can take your 30 hours with more than one provider.

There is no limit on the number of providers you can use, however, you will be limited to no more than 2 sites in a single day.

Search for childcare near you

If you need any support finding a place to meet your needs contact The Family Information Service by email:, or tel: 01629 535793.

Paying for my child's early education place

Your child's early education place is paid for by the government, however, schools and childcare providers can charge for meals, consumables (such as nappies and sun cream), additional activities (such as trips) or additional hours (hours that are taken over and above the funded entitlement hours).

Where a parent chooses to pay for additional hours, this is a private arrangement between the parent and the school or childcare provider.

Schools and childcare providers should be open and transparent about any additional charges prior to a child taking up a place, so parents have a clear choice and know the cost of any extras they may wish to purchase.

Foster carers - 30 hours extended entitlement funding

Foster carers of 3 and 4-year-olds who are engaged in paid work outside of their role as foster carer may be entitled to up to 30 hours of childcare for 38 weeks of the year, or fewer hours over more weeks.

This is an additional 15 hours of childcare on top of the 15 hours universal entitlement for all 3 and 4-year-olds. Foster carers do not apply to HMRC. An application needs to be submitted to the local authority that has parental responsibility for the child in care.

To find out more information, eligibility criteria and how to apply for 30 hours funded childcare for foster carers, email:


If you have any questions about the funded childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds, please contact the Families Information Service: