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3 to 4 year olds (30 hours)

Parents who are working and earning a specified minimum amount can apply for an additional 570 hours of free childcare each year for children who are age 3 to 4 years old.

This may also apply if a parent is on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or is unable to work due to a disability or caring responsibilities.

The parent who applies will need to meet a residence requirement.

The residence requirement will be met when a parent has one of the following:

  • British or Irish citizenship
  • Settled or pre-settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • A pending EU Settlement Scheme application
  • Immigration permission that allows access to public funds, such as indefinite leave to remain or refugee leave

A parent who has leave to remain that is subject to the 'No Recourse to Public Funds' (NRPF) condition will not meet the residence requirement. Therefore,when a single parent or both parents in a household have leave to remain with NRPF, the family will be unable to access 30 hours childcare.

In two-parent households, both parents must meet the requirements relating to employment and earnings but only one parent needs to meet the residence requirement. For example, if one parent is a British citizen and the other parent has leave to remain with NRPF, the British parent can make the application.  As government funded early education and childcare is not a 'public fund' for immigration purposes, a parent who has no recourse to public funds can be included in an application.

See the government information for the full eligibility requirements that the parent(s) must meet.