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Frequently Asked Questions

My child turns 2 after 1 April. Why aren't I entitled to free childcare?

You can only apply for the first phase of the new working parent entitlement if your child is already 2-years-old or will have had their 2nd birthday on or before 31 March 2024.

This is because children become eligible for a free childcare place at different points in the year, depending on when they were born. They may have to wait until the next academic term before they are eligible.

Children who are born on or after 1 April will become eligible later in the year:

Your child's birthdayWhen they can get their hours from
1 January to 31 March 2024Term starting on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 August 2024Term starting on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 December 2024Term starting on or after 1 January


Parents are only able to claim the entitlements from the term after because this gives local authorities and childcare providers enough time to prepare.