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15 hours free childcare for 9-month-olds and 2-year-olds… Are you eligible?


15 hours free childcare for 9-month-olds and 2-year-olds… Are you eligible?

As we’re sure you’ve heard by now, the UK government recently introduced a new scheme of childcare funding, extending the current universal 15 hours of free childcare for 3-year-olds to families with 2-year-olds. This will be followed by the same offer being extended to families with 9-month-olds, commencing September 2024. We are delighted to share that ALL Kindred Nurseries will be offering this new funding, so do make sure to register your interest quickly, as places will become highly sought after.

But what else do you need to know?

Universal and Extended Free Childcare

Since the introduction of Universal Free Childcare, parents and carers have seen a significant reduction in the costs associated with early education and childcare. Currently, this initiative aims to support families by providing 15 hours of free childcare per week for all 3 and 4-year-olds. It's in place to make sure you can give your child a head-start without worrying too much about the financial implications. You can use this 15-hour allocation at participating nurseries, pre-schools, and even with childminders.

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NEW 9-month-old and 2-year-old funding

So what exactly is changing? In April 2024, a a phased expansion of the current childcare support system began, meaning that by September 2025, the majority of working families with children under the age of 5 will have the privilege of receiving 30 hours of childcare support.

This gradual approach is in place to ensure that childcare providers can effectively cater to the increased demand, accommodating the needs of more families. The timeline for these changes is as follows:

  • In April 2024, eligible working parents of 2-year-olds were given access to 15 hours of childcare support.
  • Coming September 2024, this 15-hour childcare support will be extended to eligible working parents of children aged 9 months to 3 years. Families can begin applying for their funding codes from 12th May 2024.
  • Finally, from September 2025 onwards, eligible working parents of children under the age of 5 will enjoy an entitlement to 30 hours of childcare support each week.

Similar to the already existing offer, the allocation of these hours will be flexible, allowing usage over 38 weeks of the year (during school term time) or up to 52 weeks for those who utilize fewer than their total hours per week, depending on the policies of the individual childcare provider.

Am I eligible?

There are a few factors that will determine your eligibility, but not to fear! You can check out our handy, step-by-step video guide on how to check what financial help you’re entitled to below:

You can find the Eligibility Checker on the Childcare Choices website here.

Reminder: Providing Your Childcare Code

We want to remind parents and carers of the importance of providing their childcare code to their nursery manager. This code is crucial for us to claim the funding from the government and ensure the smooth continuation of our high-quality childcare services. Your cooperation in promptly submitting the code is greatly appreciated, as it directly contributes to maintaining the excellence of our nursery programs.

As ever, if you have any questions at all, get in contact with your nursery manager who will be more than happy to help. Not yet part of the Kindred family? To get in contact, click here to find your nearest Kindred Nursery, or visit our Fees & Funding Page to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you!