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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I'm eligible?

You need to meet the eligibility criteria before you can claim 15 hours free childcare.

Working parents in England who each earn more than £8,670 - equivalent to at least £167 per week or 16 hours at the National Minimum Wage - but less than £100,000 adjusted net income per year, will be eligible.

Eligibility is calculated on an individual basis rather than by household. This means if you have a partner, you must both individually earn between these two amounts.

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity, or adoption leave, or one of you is unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

You (and your partner if you have one) must have a national insurance number, and at least one parent (the one who is making the application) must have at least one of the following:

  • British or Irish citizenship
  • settled or pre-settled status, or you have applied and you're waiting for a decision
  • permission to access public funds - your UK residence card will tell you if you can't do this.

Parents already receiving some additional forms of government support, such as Universal Credit, working tax credits or child tax credits, can also receive 15 hours of fully funded early education, including childcare, for 2-year-olds, separate from the new entitlement for working parents.