3 and 4 Year Old Extended Entitlement (30 hours free childcare)

Online checker for extended free childcare entitlement

Working parents/carers of 3 and 4 year olds in York may be eligible for a further 15 hours free childcare in addition to the existing free 15 hours early education entitlement, if they meet certain criteria. From 1st September 2016, providers across York will be able to start to offer the additional 15 hours childcare for eligible parents/carers where they have the space to do so.We are pleased to confirm that the online checker for parents/carers for the extended free childcare entitlement is now live and can be completed online.

Parents/carers wishing to access the additional 15 hours from September 2016 will be required to complete a self declaration, confirming they meet the national and local eligibility criteria. You will then receive a letter from the LA either confirming that you are eligible for the extended entitlement or requesting that you submit relevant evidence in order for the LA to check your eligibility. If the checks confirm that you are eligible you will receive a letter containing a voucher code which you will be required to give to your provider, as evidence that you are eligible for the extended free childcare entitlement.

Eligibility Criteria

The extended free childcare entitlement will be available to parents/carers of three- and four-year-olds in York where:

  • The child and parent must be resident (living) in the York LA area, i.e. pay council tax to City of York Council


  • Both parents are working (or sole parent in a lone parent family) & each parent/carer earns on average:
    • a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) (for under 25 yr olds) or national living wage (NLW) (if over 25 yrs old), and
    • less than £100,000 per year


  • Both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave or statutory sick pay, or
  • One parent is employed & the other parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring, or
  • One parent is employed & one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.

Additional Information

  • You do not need to actually work 16 hours per week, but your earnings must equal at least 16 hours work at minimum wage / national living wage. This equates to a minimum income requirement for a parent/carer over the age of 25 of £115.20 a week, or for 21-24 year olds of £107.20 a week.
  • A parent/carer will be eligible if they expect (on average) to earn this amount over the coming three months:
  • For example, for a parent/carer who is on a zero-hours contract, they will qualify if on average they work two weeks out of every three, and when they are working they get 25 hours of work at the minimum wage.
  • ‘Parent’ means a person who has parental responsibility for the child. In cases where a parent has remarried or is living with a partner, the step-parent or partner must also meet the earning threshold.
  • Foster carers are only eligible for the extended entitlement for their own children (if they meet the criteria); they are not eligible for children that they foster.

Flexibility - Taking up the extended entitlement

If you are eligible for the extended entitlement, you can take up to 1140 hours free childcare across the year. This can be taken term time only or ‘stretched’ across the year, as follows:

  • Up to 30 hours per week across 38 weeks per year or (term time offer)
  • Up to 23.75 hours per week across 48 weeks per year or (stretched offer)
  • Up to 22.25 hours per week across 51 weeks of the year (stretched offer).

As part of the pilot, we want to explore the different patterns of take up that parents/carers may want to access and the ability of our early year’s providers to deliver particular types of flexible provision. Flexibility options will therefore need to be discussed with your chosen early years provider as the range of models and their availability will vary across the city.

Not all providers may be able to offer the stretched offer, the full 30 hours per week or the particular pattern of provision that you require however, you can split your entitlement across more than one provider.

During the pilot you will be able to access your free childcare:

  • between 6am and 8pm
  • up to a maximum of 10 free hours per day, 30 hours per week
  • across a maximum of 3 providers


If you take more than 30 hours per week (or the equivalent of 1140 hours per year), there will be a charge from the provider for the additional hours. Please check with your provider for details of these and any other additional charges such as for meals, snacks or additional services.



Related pages

Useful documents

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Family Information Service

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