Up to 30 hours free childcare starts in September 

Working parents of three and four year olds could be entitled to an extra 15 hours a week free childcare on top of the basic 15 hours a week offer, from September.

The hours can be taken over 38 weeks a year during term time, or stretched over more weeks with fewer hours each week. Hours can also be used with more than one childcare provider.

If you’re eligible for the extra hours, you’ll need to sign up and apply online to get a code to give to your childcare provider to reserve your place. You’ll get the extra hours after your child turns three and once the next term starts.

All three and four year olds in England can already access 570 free hours of childcare a year, usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.

Cllr Philip Read, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “I welcome this initiative by the Government. It recognises and addresses the fact that some parents are leaving work, or working fewer hours than they would like, because they find it difficult to meet rising childcare costs. These free extra hours of childcare will help working parents to stay in work if they would like to do so, as well as better balance their work and home life.”

Visit the Childcare Choices website for more information and to check if you are eligible, then click on the ‘apply now’ button to make your funded childcare application. The deadline for September applications is Thursday 31 August. 

For further information and to find out about local 30 hour childcare providers please visit the Bexley Family Information Directory, email funded.childcare@bexley.gov.uk, or call 020 8303 7777.