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Free child care places for 3 & 4 year olds

15 or 30 hours Funding

Universal Funding For 3 and 4 Year Olds

All 3 and 4 year old children are entitled to 15 hours of early education and care each week for 38 weeks a year (this is a total of 570 hours each year).


Advantages of early education and care

Early education sessions provide the opportunity for children to access their own unique entitlement to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. This curriculum is underpinned by several key principles including working in partnership with parents and carers, providing quality learning opportunities through a well-planned environment indoors and outdoors, and a play based approach to learning which is planned supported and guided by caring, trained practitioners.


Every child develops in different ways and at different rates and it is through ongoing observations of what the child is saying and doing that the practitioner builds up their knowledge of the child’s needs, interests, and learning style. All areas of learning are equally valued and important including: making friendships and positive relationships with adults, developing vocabulary and communication skills, exploring and finding out about the world, playing imaginatively and developing thinking and number skills.


Your child is entitled to Nursery Education Funding for up to two years before he or she reaches compulsory school age (compulsory school age begins at the start of the term following your child’s fifth birthday).



If your child’s third birthday falls between

He or she will become entitled to Nursery Education Funding from

1st January and 31st March the start of the summer term (after Easter)

1st April and 31st August the start of the autumn term (early September)

1st September and 31 December the start of the spring term (early January)


You can use your entitlement at My Little Barn Owls in the following way:-


15 hours over 2 full days

15 hours over 3 half days

10 hours over 1 full day


A session cannot be shorter than 2.5 hours or longer than 10 hours. If you choose to use all your entitlement of 15 hours this must be taken over a minimum of 2 days.


What if I only want 15 hours each week?

If you only require 15 hours  at My Little Barn Owls, then this is fine we have a variety of flexible shifts. 

Can I use my child’s entitlement at more than one provider?

Yes, you can use your child’s entitlement at a maximum of 2 providers; this includes settings from different sectors, i.e. a school and a day nursery. My Little Barn Owls will share relevant information to ensure continuity of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and that the best needs of your child are met.

All 3 and 4 year old children are entitled to 15 hours of funded child care and early education during school term time.


When is my child entitled to a funded place?


  • If your child’s 3rd birthday falls between 1 January and 31 March, they will be entitled to a free place from the start of the summer term (after Easter)

  • If your child’s 3rd birthday falls between 1 April and 31 August, they will be entitled to a funded place from the start of the autumn term (early September)

  • If your child’s 3rd birthday falls between 1 September and 31 December, they will be entitled to a funded place from the start of the spring term (early January)


What sessions do we run at My Little Barn Owls?


Our session times for 2,3 & 4 years are flexible and can vary depending on families individual needs. Subject to availability. 

We do Morning session,Afternoon session and full day sessions.

(Parents/carers will be charged for consumables depending on session attended. Alternatively you can provide a packed a lunch). 


Kirklees Family Information Service


If you would like more information , you can contact Kirklees Family Inforamtion Service on 01484 414887 or email them at


Extended Funding for 3 and 4 year olds (30 hours)


In addition to the 15 hours universal funding, you may also be entitled to additional 15 hours funding (extended) – 30 hours in total.


You will be entitled for the 30-hour funded childcare offer if: –


  • If you earn more than the equivalent of 16 hours at the national living wage or minimum wage per week: for example, £120.00 per week if you are 25 or older. There is no requirement to work a certain amount of hours per week – it is all about how much you earn. This means if you only work 10 hours a week but earn £12 per hour, you will meet the minimum earning threshold. Apprentices are also eligible as long as they earn the equivalent to 16 hours at the apprentice minimum wage.




  • You earn less than £100,000 per year. This applies if you are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract and expect to meet the earning criteria on average over the three months after you have applied for the 30-hours. HMRC will look at data such as your previous earnings to consider whether you are likely to meet the criteria and may contact you for further information if you are unsure. If you are starting up your own business, you will not be expected to meet the minimum earning criteria in your first year of trading. You will need to provide a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number to HMRC so that they can check your income at the end of the tax year.


If you are not working but you expect to take up paid work within 14 days, you can still apply for the 30 hours, as long as you expect to meet the income criteria over the coming months.


If you are a single parent and meet the above criteria, you will be eligible for 30 hours. If you live with a partner, you both must meet the above criteria.  This still applies if one of you is not the child’s parents – for example, if you are remarried or have started living with a new partner.  If you are separated/divorced from your child’s parent, the eligibility rules will only apply to the parent that the child normally lives with (and their new partner if they are part of the same household)



You will not have to meet the minimum earnings criteria if:

  • You and your partner are employed but one or both of you is temporarily away from workplace on parental, maternity or paternity, adoption leave, or on statutory sick pay.

  • You are employed but your partner either has substantial caring responsibilities, or is disabled or incapacitated, or vice versa (i.e. your partner is employed but you have caring responsibilities or are disabled or incapacitated) This is dependent on you or your partner being entitled to specific disability or caring benefits.


Signing up for the 30-hours


You will be able to apply for both the 30-hour offer and tax-free childcare (see below for further information on tax-free childcare) using a single application available online via the Childcare Service. The website address is:

This is now live, so parents can start to go on to check their eligibility.

If you don’t access to the internet, you will be able to do so by phone.

To complete the application, you will need to provide details such as your name, address and national insurance number, as well as whether you expect to meet the income requirements over the next three months and whether you are in receipts of benefits. If you live with a partner, you will need to provide the same information for them as well.  This will enable HMRC to decide whether your child is eligible for the 30 hours (as well as tax-free childcare)

If you are eligible, you will be given an 11-digit code that you will need to take to your childcare provider along with your national insurance number and your child’s birth certificate. Your provider will then use the government’s eligibility checking system to check the code is valid.  If it is, they will be able to book your child’s place.  You will need to reconfirm your eligibility every three months and will receive a reminder text message or email from the government before the deadline.

2 Year Old Funding copy: Text
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