Starting from April 2024, existing childcare support will be expanded in phases. By September 2025, most working families with children under the age of 5 will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare support.

Eligible households where all adults are working at least 16 hours, will receive 30 hours of free childcare not just for 3-and-4-year-olds, but for every child over the age of 9 months

The changes are being introduced gradually to make sure that providers can meet the needs of more families.

The 30 hours offer will now start from the moment maternity or paternity leave ends – rolled out in stages from 2024:

  • April 2024 - 15 hours of free childcare for working parents of two-year-olds comes into, applications for this opened on the 2nd January
  • September 2024 - 15 hours of free childcare for working parents of nine months to three years old.
  • September 2025, all eligible working parents of children aged nine months up to three years of age will be able to access 30 free hours per week.

Like the existing offer, depending on your provider, these hours can be used over 38 weeks of the year or up to 52 weeks if you use fewer than your total hours per week.

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