We offer places for children who wish to attend for a ‘free’ government funded place, if they are eligible for 3 & 4 year old funding.

A parent user guide is available at

Children will become eligible for 3 & 4 year old funding from the term after their third birthday. They will then be able to access up to 15 hours of ‘free’ education at nursery for 38 weeks per year.

The current funded childcare entitlement for three and four year olds is being increased from 15 to 30 hours per week for working parents, from September 2017. This change is to support working parents with the affordability of childcare and enable parents who want to work, or to work more hours, to do so.

Eligibility criteria

The national eligibility criteria which families need to meet are:

Both parents must be working (or the sole parent if in a lone parent family);

Each parent must have a weekly minimum income equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage; and

Each parent must have an income less than £100,000 per year.

You would also fit the criteria if:

Both parents are employed but one (or both) is temporarily away from the workplace on maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave, or on statutory sick pay;

One parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring; or

One parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.

Further information on eligibility

A 'parent' is defined as a person who has parental responsibility or care 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 earnings threshold.

The definition of 'working' includes employed persons, self-employed persons and parents on zero hours contracts who meet the above criteria.

All three and four year old children are entitled to the universal 15 hours funding per week, regardless of a parent's income.

Children in a maintained reception class are not eligible for the 30 hour extended childcare entitlement.

Foster carers are eligible for the extended entitlement if they meet the criteria set out above for their own children. Foster carers are not eligible for the extended entitlement for the children that they foster.

Two parent families where one parent does not work (or neither parent works), or lone parents who do not work will not be eligible for the extended entitlement.

Where one parent is working (and meets the income requirements) and the other is not working because they are disabled or are in receipt of benefits relating to caring responsibilities or a disability (e.g. in receipt of carer's allowance), we will treat these households as eligible.

  • HMRC will be responsible for providing the online eligibility checking system for parents and they are aiming for this to be available at some point in the summer term.
  • As Parents you can sign up for updates on the DfE’s new website for families –

We continue to have low take up of Tax Free Childcare in Redbridge even though this can help parents and carers like yourselves not only to pay for existing places, but also consider increasing take up of hours where this supports you financially.


Please take this opportunity that if you are not currently claiming Tax Free Childcare to check the criteria and apply at


We would also ask that where parents/carers are taking up the 30 hours to have a chat with them if they are not paying you via the Tax Free Childcare. Most parents eligible for one will also be eligible for the other and they can use both at the same time!


If you have any queries then please contact


If you have any queries about the processes and entitlements, or would like help signing up to offer Tax Free Childcare to families, please email