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Funding for 3-4 year olds

ALL 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free education a week for 38 weeks of the year (term time), or at LEYF nurseries you can stretch the 570 hours over the whole calendar year.

Once your child turns 3 you can start claiming free early education following these dates:

Child’s birthday

When you can claim

1st  January – 31st March

The beginning of term on or after 1st April (usually after Easter)

1st April – 31st August

The beginning of term on or after 1st September

1st September – 31st December

The beginning of term on or after 1st January

For example, if you child was born on 12th February then they become eligible the term after they turn three (from 1st April). The free early years education can be at:

  • Day nurseries
  • Nursery schools and nurseries on school sites
  • Nursery classes in schools and academies
  • Children’s centres
  • Some playgroups and pre-schools
  • Child-minders

The way we offer free places varies across all of our nurseries. If you would like to hear more about the free hours that are available please contact your local nursery. At a year round setting you can use your free hours across the whole year. At LEYF we typically offer 47.5 hours per calendar month, which adds up to the full entitlement.

You may have heard that the government are planning to increase the number of free hours available to parents from 15 to 30.

For more information see

More on fees and funding