Early years and childcare
Free early learning for 3 and 4 year olds
15 hours free childcare
All families with 3 and 4-year-old children can get 15 hours of free childcare or early education a week, 38 weeks per year. This can be administered over three terms or stretched out to suit your needs.
30 hours free childcare
Working families with 3 and 4-year-old children can get an extra 15 hours a week of free childcare, so 30 hours in total. This can be administered over three terms or stretched out to suit your needs. You won't be eligible for this extended entitlement if you or your partner earn £100,000 or more.
How to get it
Your child’s nursery must be registered with Ofsted and included on the local authority list of early education providers to receive the free sessions. These include school nurseries, day nurseries, childminders and playgroups.
To find out if your child’s nursery is on the list of early education providers, please contact Liverpool Childcare and Family Information Service (CAFIS) on freephone 0800 085 2022 or ask a member of staff at your child’s nursery.
When does my child become eligible?
- If your child is born between 1 April and 31 August, they will be eligible for a free place from 1 September following their third birthday, until statutory school age.
- If your child is born between 1 September and 31 December, they will be eligible for a free place from 1 January following their third birthday, until statutory school age.
- If your child is born between 1 January and 31 March, they will be eligible for a free place from 1 April following their third birthday, until statutory school age.
My child is going to turn three next year. How soon can I access the 30 hours?
If I’m not eligible for the 30-hour offer, can I still get my 15 hours?
What happens if I become ineligible for the offer - for instance if I lose my job?
Is there any difference in how the first 15 hours and the second 15 hours under the 30-hour offer will be delivered?
I want to access the 30-hours but my provider is asking for a deposit. Can they do this?
Help and advice
If you need help finding a place or you are unsure which provider to choose, please contact the Family Information Service on 0800 085 2022 or visit our Early Help Directory.
Early education funding agreement for 2, 3 and 4 year olds (doc : 1.8 MB)
First published: 1/04/2019
About this document
Funding agreement terms and conditions for childcare providers offering 2, 3 and 4 year old funded places.
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