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  1. 1. Overview
  2. 2. 2-year-olds (15 hours)
  3. 3. 3 and 4-year-olds (15 hours)
  4. 4. 3 to 4-year-olds (30 hours)
  5. 5. Tax-free childcare

Overview

Some early education and childcare is funded by the UK Government for children in England. There are different schemes depending on a child’s age. 

Government funded early education and childcare is not classed as a 'public fund' for immigration purposes, so can be accessed by a child regardless of their immigration status. However, some schemes have eligibility requirements relating to the immigration status of the parent(s) and so may not be available to all families. 

In this section, the different eligibility rules for each scheme are set out according to the child’s age.

The following new schemes are due to be phased in over the next two years:

  • From April 2024, working parents of 2-year-old children will be able to access 15 hours/week
  • From September 2024, working parents of children from age 9 months to 3 years  will be able to access 15 hours/week
  • From September 2025, working parents of children under the age of 5 will be entitled to 30 hours/week

Information about funded early education and childcare in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is provided by the respective governments: