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Access codes for 15 hours of childcare per week for two-year-olds from April 2024

  • From 2nd January, eligible working parents can apply for 15 hours childcare for their two-year-old. Parents have until 31st March to apply for a code, with the best timing being mid-January to the end of February in case they need to provide further information to support their application. 
  • To apply for a childcare code each parent needs to be working and earning the equivalent of 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year. This means that each parent needs to earn from just over £8,600 per year to be eligible for 15 hours a week of childcare during term time.
  • There is more information on the childcare support available to parents on the Childcare Choices website, where they can explore the early education entitlements and other government help with childcare costs.


More details will be included here as and when available.

What is Tax-Free Childcare and How Does it Work?

Tax-Free Childcare is a government initiative designed to help working parents with the cost of childcare.

You open an online account with the government (though the government website, GOV.UK) which you can pay into to cover the cost of childcare with a registered provider. For every 80p you (or someone else) pays in, the government will top up an extra 20p. This is equivalent of the tax most people pay - 20% - which is how the scheme got its name.

The government will top up the account with 20% of childcare costs up to a total of £10,000 - the equivalent of up to £2,000 support per child, per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).

What is 15 Hours Funded Childcare?

In England, there are two government funded 15 hours free early education schemes that offer childcare for children aged two, three and four:

  • 15 hours funded childcare for eligible 2-year-olds
  • 15 hours funded childcare for all 3 and 4-year-olds

This means that your little one will get a funded childcare placement with a government approved provider (meaning they have to be registered with Ofsted and participate in the scheme).

Perfect Start Montessori is an approved childcare provider and proudly takes part in this scheme.

15 Hours Funded Childcare for 3 and 4 Year Olds

Every single child aged three and four is eligible for 15 hours funded childcare.

If your child is three or four years old and lives in England, you’re entitled to 15 hours funded childcare or early education per week for 38 weeks of the year (during term time). This comes to a total of 570 hours over a 12-month period.

Note: It’s likely that you’ll have to pay for the extra costs like meals, nappies, wipes, trips, etc. You can use the hours from 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child’s second birthday.

15 Hours Funded Childcare for 2-Year-Olds

Your 2-year-old is eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare per week if you live in England and get any of the following benefits:

They are also eligible if:

  • they are looked after by a local authority
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • get Disability Living Allowance
  • have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

Note:  You can use the hours from 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child’s second birthday.

What is the Governments 30 Hours Free Childcare Offering?

Perfect Start Montessori school  are pleased to offer 30 hours funded childcare for all eligible families.

All 3 and 4-year-olds in England currently receive 15 hours a week government funded early education. If their parents are living and working in England, 3 and 4-year-olds may be entitled to 30 hours funded childcare, which is up to 1,140 hours per year in total!


Work Requirements

The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work. Parents must earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.

Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (i.e. they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.


Parents must earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months. This equates to £120 a week for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week for each parent between 21 and 24 years old and £56 a week for apprentices in their first year.

You can't get 30 hours free childcare if you, or your partner, expect to earn £100,000 or more.

Age of Children

Your child/children must be either 3 or 4 years old. You can apply for funding in the term prior to your child's 3rd birthday but the funding will not apply until the term after they turn 3.


This offer is for working families in England.

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T : 07956 408 118  |  E :
Montessori in The Riding, Golders Green Rd, London NW11 8HL
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