3 and 4 Year Old Extended Entitlement / 30 hours free childcare.


Applying for Extended Funded Entitlement (30 hours)

You can check that you are eligible and apply for the funded hours via Childcare Choices at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk. Those who could be eligible for 30 hours and/or Tax-Free Childcare will be directed to the digital childcare service to apply.

You do not need to apply to the digital service is you only want the universal 15 hours entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds. Please note: Children in reception class are not eligible for the Extended Funded Entitlement.

If you need any further help or information, please contact York Family Information Service on 01904 554444.

Eligibility Criteria

The 30 hours childcare will be available to parents/carers of three- and four-year-olds where:

  • You, and any partner, must expect to earn (on average) the equivalent of working:
    • 16 hours at your national minimum wage (NMW) (for under 25 yr olds) or national living wage (NLW) (if over 25 yrs old). You are not entitled to 30 hours free childcare if you, or your partner, expect to earn £100,000 or more 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).

Flexibility options will 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.

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 (38 weeks per year).
  • across a maximum of two sites in a single day.


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.