If you are a parent or guardian of a child aged 3 or 4 years old you can receive 570 hours of government-funded childcare or early education each year. This is usually taken as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks.
This is able to be accessed from the term after the child turns 3 until they reach compulsory school age or start full-time education.
You do not need to apply to receive the 15 hours funded childcare, you simply need to show your chosen childcare provider proof of your child's age, such as their birth certificate.
Some children are also entitled to an extra 15 hours a week, making 30 hours funded childcare a week in total.
When can my child receive funded childcare?
The exact date you can receive funded childcare for your child depends on which term they turn 3 years old. The table below shows the term dates and when you can claim funded childcare:
Term & eligible claim dates
Do I have to pay anything?
|Child born between:||Are eligible from:|
|1 January and 31 March ||The start of the term beginning or following 1 April|
|1 April and 31 August ||The start of the term beginning or following 1 September|
|1 September and 31 December |
The start of the term beginning or following 1 January
The funding does not cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips).
Providers may charge a fee for these additions, although you must be offered alternative options.