Skip to main content

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 by having one of the following:

  • British or Irish citizenship
  • Settled or pre-settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • A right to reside on 31 December 2020 if they are an EEA national or family member who qualifies to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021
  • A form of immigration permission that is not subject to the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition, such as indefinite leave to remain or refugee leave

In two-parent households, 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, then the British parent can make the application but both parents must meet the requirements relating to employment and earnings. As government funded early education and childcare is not classed as a public fund for immigration purposes, a parent who has no recourse to public funds can be included in an application.

When a single parent or both parents have leave to remain that is subject to the NRPF condition then the parent(s) will not satisfy the residence requirement.

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