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Early Years Entitlement

3 - 4 Year Olds - Early Years Entitlement


All parents of children 3 - 4 years old can access 15 hours of free childcare. It doesn't matter how much you earn or how many hours you work. You are not required to apply for this funding as Fledglings will automatically do this for you. However, to enable us to apply for this funding, you will be required to show Fledglings a copy of your child's birth certificate and we will ask you to sign a declaration form. Please speak with the Fledglings team to find out more. 


Since 1st September 2017, working parents or carers of children aged three to four in England are entitled to 30 hours of free childcare a week, (maximum 10 hours a day), equating to £1140 per annum. 


At Fledglings, we are able to offer your child 30 hours per week of Early Years Entitlement funding, but you need to meet the following criteria to enable you to claim:-


  • Each parent earns or expects to earn the equivalent to 16 hours a week at the National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming 3 months. This equates to £120 per week (or about £6000 per annum) for each parent over 25 years of age or £112.80 per week (or about £5800 per annum) for each parent between 21 and 24 years of age and £56 per week for apprentices in their first year.


If your child is three or four years old and you’re eligible for 30 hours of free childcare, you’ll need to fill out an application form online: Application Form

If you are eligible for this funding, you will get a childcare account and a 30 hours per week code which you will be required to provide Fledglings with. You will also need to provide us with your National Insurance Number. (You will be asked to complete a form on ParentMail confirming all of this information). 


You will need to reconfirm these details every three months - please note this is the parents' responsibility to do so. Failure to reconfirm details will mean that your code will expire and you may receive an invoice to cover your child's hours. 


Please use the following website to work out when it is best for you to apply for funding. When should I apply for funding?


Please speak to Rebecca in Fledglings for more information. 


Funding for 2 Year Olds


Currently, parents of two-year-olds can access 15 hours a week of free childcare if they are in receipt of income support benefits, such as Universal Credit, and earn less than £15,400 a year. If your child is eligible, this funding can be used in the same way as the 3 year-old Nursery Education Funding, with 15 hours a week free nursery education for 38 weeks of the year. For more information on funding for 2 year-olds, please visit the Government website where you can find an application form to apply for this funding. 


From April 2024, working parents of two-year-olds will also be able to access 15 hours of free childcare:-


April 2024 sees the start of some significant changes to extend the existing 15 and 30 hours childcare support in England. The expansion will be introduced in phases;

  • From April 2024, eligible working parents of 2-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours childcare support.
  • From September 2024, 15 hours childcare support will be extended to eligible working parents of children from the age of 9 months to 3-year-olds.
  • From September 2025, eligible working parents of children under the age of 5 will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare a week.


At Fledglings, we will be accepting 2 year old funding from April 2024. If you are interested in a place at Fledglings for your child, please get in touch with us as places are rapidly filling up .



Funding Terms & When to Apply


Spring: 1st January - 31st March

Summer: 1st April - 31st August

Autumn: 1st September - 31st December


Your child’s birthdayWhen they can get their hours fromRecommended time to apply
1 Sept - 31 DecTerm starting on or after 1 Jan (Spring term)15 Oct - 30 Nov
1 Jan - 31 MarTerm starting on or after 1 April (Summer term)15 Jan - 28th Feb
1 Apr - 31 AugTerm starting on or after 1 Sept (Autumn term)15 June - 31 July


You can use your child's hours in two different settings but it is important that we are made aware of this so that we can ensure both settings are claiming the correct hours.



Tax Free Childcare, Tax Credits and other Childcare Choices


There are a number of new childcare payment options for parents. If you are working, you may be eligible for tax-free childcare, 30 hours of funding or tax credits towards the cost of your childcare. The governments' Childcare Choices gives a clear description of the options with tools for application:-  Childcare Choices


You can find out about what childcare options are available locally and apply for funding on the Somerset.Gov Government Website - Tax-Free Childcare