High quality childcare can be expensive. We all want the best for our children, and it’s always good to know there is some help towards the cost of childcare.

There are a number of government initiatives that can be used to help with costs.

Tax Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is there to support working parents with the cost of childcare. For every £8 a parent pays into their childcare account, the government adds an extra £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year (or £4,000 for a disabled child). Click here to find out more.

2 Year old funding

 If you have a 2-year-old, there may be funding available to help with childcare costs. A parent or carer can apply if they receive at least one of the following:

  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income support
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credits and an income of less than £16,190
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of the State Pension Credit
  • Children looked after by the local authority may also be eligible

If your child is eligible for 2-year funding they can start their childcare the term after their 2nd birthday.

Birthday Start date (following their 2nd birthday)
1st January to 31st March 1st April
1st April to 31st August 1st September
1st September to 31st December 1st January

If eligible, your child can receive up to 15 hours of childcare per week, for up to 38 weeks of the year. Funded childcare can be used flexibly at a variety of early education providers. Little Explorers welcomes the 2 year funding scheme, and offers flexible hours. Please give us a call to talk about your needs.

3 and 4 year old funding

As a parent or carer of a 3 or 4 year-old, you are entitled to funded hours of childcare.

3-year-olds will be able to start a funded nursery place in the September, January or April following their third birthday.

Your child’s birthday must be before:

  • 31 March will be eligible for funded nursery education from the Summer Term (April)
  • 31 August will be eligible for funded nursery education from the Autumn Term (September)
  • 31 December will be eligible for funded nursery education from the Spring term (January)

All 3 and 4-year-olds in England are entitled to a maximum of 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year.

Working parents may be entitled to an additional 15 hours a week making it a maximum of 30 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. To find out if you are eligible please click here

These hours can be used at Ofsted approved providers. Approved providers include child-minders, playgroups, pre-schools and day nurseries that are registered and inspected by OFSTED. Parents can choose which provider they would like their child to go to, as long as they have places available.

At Little Explorers funding can be stretched over the term to include the holidays. This way the funding is spread equally over all the weeks we are open. Please call us on 01359 232111 to find out about stretched funding. At Little Explorers there are additional service fees applicable that cover the cost of food and consumables as funding is just intended to cover the education element of the care.