From September 2017 most working parents of 3 and 4 year olds will be eligible for an extra 15 hours of free childcare a week, term time or under a stretched offer. This will be added to their current universal entitlement of 15 hours, this means that their free early education entitlement will increase to a total of 30 hours a week; this is currently being offered over term time or 48 weeks. The DfE is consulting on whether this can be stretched to 51 weeks. If spread over a whole year, the current 570 hours of free childcare these parents get will increase to 1140 hours.
It is important to recognise that the 15 hours funding for working parents is to provide high quality provision in line with the EYFS curriculum.
The government is encouraging childcare providers to offer the entitlement flexibly and extend the 1140 hours over the whole year if possible. The additional funding of up to 15 hours can be taken flexibly across 2 settings and 3 providers. We are encouraging partnership working between childcare providers across the early years sector.
To check eligibility for this please view the parents pages