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30 Hours

What is 30hrs Funded Childcare?

Eligible working families in England with 3 and 4 year olds can receive up to 30 hours of funded childcare each week.

This is up to an extra 15 hours of funded childcare in addition to the universal entitlement and is known as extended entitlement.

Are you Eligible?

To find out if you are eligible, please read through the Eligibility Criteria

When should you Apply?

 If you think you are eligible you can apply for a 30 hour code via Childcare Choices on (HMRC) anytime from when your child is 2 years and 9 months old.

Please check out the table with dates to find out when you should apply.

Successful applicants will be issued a Voucher Code by HMRC.

Your child’s funding can start from the term following their 3rd birthday or the term after you apply, whichever is later.

The funding will continue until they reach compulsory school age.

So, you are eligible, what next?

When you receive your code, take it to your chosen provider to secure a place and ensure you receive the funding for the following term.

They will validate your code by verifying that you are eligible for the funding through the Local Authority, to do this they will require: Voucher Code, Forename, Surname, Child’s Date of Birth, National Insurance (NI) number or Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) so please be prepared for them to ask you for this.

Note: Home Child Carers (Nannies/ Au Pair) are exempt from the requirement to register under the Childcare (Exemptions from Registration) Order 2008 if they provide childcare for no more than two families in the parent’s homes. They are currently not permitted to register on the Early Years Register and cannot therefore receive early education funding.

How to find a childcare provider?

Click on the link below to find a childcare provider offering 30 hours childcare

How to Reconfirm your Eligibility?

If you claim up to 30 hours of funded childcare and / or Tax-Free Childcare, you must reconfirm your eligibility.

You must do this even if your child hasn’t started their 30 hours place.

You must reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months from the date you first applied or you are at risk of losing your funded childcare. Login to your childcare account ( to reconfirm your eligibility.

What is the Grace Period?

This will allow continuity for the child and also give the parent sometime to regain employment. Early years and childcare providers can also be assured that if they offer the extended entitlement, they will not run the risk of having an empty place immediately should the parents circumstances change.

If a family no longer meet the criteria, a grace period would be given to allow them to find employment / increase hours etc.

If a family did not meet the criteria after the grace period elapsed, they would no longer receive 30 hours but would receive the universal 15 hour entitlement.

Are you experiencing difficulties in applying or facing a delay on the decision of your application?

If you are experiencing any difficulties in applying online or have submitted an application and are awaiting a 30 hours code to claim funded childcare, please contact the HMRC Contact Centre on 0300 123 4097.

Do you feel there has been an error on your HMRC account?

If you feel that there has been an error on your account, your next course of action will be to contact HMRC to claim compensation for loss of funding for the term. Please refer to HMRC for more information regarding the process.

How you can use your 30 hours?

You can:

  • use your 30 hours between 6am and 8pm for a maximum of 10 hours a day
  • split your 30 hours between providers, for example a nursery and a childminder, but at no more than 2 settings each day
  • get up to 30 hours of funded childcare for 38 weeks of the year (1140 hours, the same as school terms).
  • get funded childcare for 52 weeks if you use fewer than 30 hours per week.
  • receive fewer hours each week but for more weeks of the year as some providers may offer a stretched pattern of hours. Check with your childcare provider to find out if this is something they offer.

Please note that if your child is attending a school nursery (including academies) the nursery will be claiming the 3 and 4 year Universal funded hours and, if you provided them with your 30 hour code, they may also claim from your Extended hours. Please ask the school to confirm which funded hours they are claiming.

How can I apply for 30 Hours as a Foster Carer?

It would be very unusual for a child in foster care to receive child care outside the foster placement for 30 hours each week.  If you believe there are extenuating circumstances which would make this appropriate, please see if the below criteria is met:

  • that accessing the extended hours is consistent with the child’s care plan
  • that, in single parent foster family, the foster carer engages in paid work outside their role as a foster carer; or in two parent foster families, both partners engage in paid work outside their role as a foster carer
  • if one partner is not a foster parent then they must be in qualifying paid work and earn a minimum of the equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum /national living wage

If you still believe a 3, 4 year old in your foster care needs 30 hour childcare, then you must speak to the child’s social worker before applying. The social worker will then discuss this request with the Service Manager for  Looked After and Vulnerable Children. If you receive consent to apply, then please complete the form.

Once you  have signed the form, it must be sent to the child’s social worker for counter signing by the Service Manager for Looked After and Vulnerable Children.

Once the counter signed  form is returned to you, please forward it by email to Informed Families at

If your application is successful, you will get your eligibility code from Informed Families.

If you are unhappy about the decision made by the Local Authority, please seek resolution through your social worker or through the Local Authority complaints process.

This form is only for foster carers. If you are applying for your own children use, visit:

For further information, visit: How to apply for 30 hours as an Approved Foster Carer