Funded early education and childcare for three and four year olds

funded early years childcare

Starting in the term following their third birthday, all children can receive up to 15 hours per week for up to 38 weeks a year. We call this the 'Universal entitlement'.

Parents should check with their chosen provider as to when they are able to take their funded sessions. No charge can be made for any element of the funded early education entitlement, but parents may purchase additional hours of childcare to suit their own individual needs. Some children are eligible for an extra 15 hours per week, see Eligibility for 30 hours of funded childcare (from September 2017)

At what age is early education available

Date of third or fourth birthday Place available
3rd or 4th birthday between 1 April and 31 August Place starts in September (Autumn funding period)
3rd or 4th birthday between 1 September and 31 December Place starts in January (Spring funding period)
3rd or 4th birthday between 1 January and 31 March Place starts in April (Summer funding period)

Eligibility for 30 hours of funded childcare (from September 2017)

From September 2017, eligible working parents can claim an additional 15 hours of funded childcare per week, for 38 weeks each year. This is on top of the universal entitlement of 15 hours.

Some childcare providers will allow parents to 'stretch' their offer, taking fewer hours per week, over more weeks of the year.

Working parents will include those who are self employed and those employed on zero hours contracts. Parents are expected to be eligible if they meet one of these criteria:

  • both parents are working or one parent is working in lone parent families. This will be defined as earning the equivalent of 16 hours per week on national minimum wage (or national living wage). This is subject to a maximum income threshold of £100,000 per year per parent;
  • both parents are employed, but one (or both) parent is temporarily away from the workplace on:
    • parental leave;
    • maternity leave;
    • paternity leave;
    • adoption leave; or
    • statutory sick pay;
  • one parent is employed and one parent is in receipt of carers allowance (or receives the carer element of Universal credit), or one parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated (based on specific benefits).

Parents will generally remain eligible for funded entitlement if they access tax credits, universal credit, tax-free childcare and other childcare schemes to help pay for any additional childcare they need.

Parents will be asked to open an online Tax free childcare account and check their eligibility for the 30 hours funded childcare at the same time. If they are eligible, they will receive an 11 digit code. For more information, see Access to the childcare service as a parent or childcare provider .

How do I get these sessions

  1. Ring the Early Years Learning and Childcare Team for a list of places where your child can take early education and childcare sessions (ie childminders, day nurseries, children's centres, pre-school playgroups or independent schools), or search the  Childcare providers database;

    When you know where you want your child to go, ask the manager at the setting to register your child for their funded place. If you are entitled to a 30 hour funded place, you will need to show your HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) 11 digit eligibility code to your childcare provider;

  2. The manager at the setting will send a claim for your child in to the Early Years Learning and Childcare Team who will allocate funding for your child's early education and childcare sessions.


  • Username Early Years Learning and Childcare Team
  • Email
  • Telephone 01422 392576
  • Address
    Town Hall
    HX1 1TP

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP): Who's eligible

Some 3 and 4 year old children, who receive the funded early education entitlement in Calderdale, are eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) if their parent(s) is in receipt of one of the following welfare benefits:

  • Income support;
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance;
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • support from NASS (National Asylum Support Service) under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit;
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Credit) with an annual income of no more than £16,190;
  • Working Tax Credit run-on;
  • Universal Credit.

Children are also eligible if they:

  • have been looked after by Calderdale Council for at least one day;
  • have been adopted from care;
  • have left care through special guardianship;
  • are subject to a child arrangement order setting out who the child is to live with (formerly known as residence orders).

Register and raise money for your child's provider

Although registration is voluntary, it could raise additional funds for your child's provider, to better support the early education of your child. Your childcare provider can advise you on this. Your provider will ensure that the personal information that they hold about you is protected and kept safe and secure. It will be passed confidentially to Calderdale Council to assess entitlement to EYPP, see the Early Years Pupil Premium leaflets: PDFEarly Years Pupil Premium [PDF 802KB]