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All 3 to 4 year olds in England are entitled to 570 hours of free childcare per year. This is called 'Nursery Education Funding’ (NEF) or ‘Free Early Education Entitlement’ (FEEE) and is usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.
You can claim free childcare from the school term after your child turns three until they turn five or start Reception.
This means a child born between:
- 1 September and 31 December is eligible from 1 January
- 1 January and 31 March is eligible from 1 April
- 1 April and 31 August is eligible from 1 September
All children are eligible for NEF regardless of family income.
Where can I get it?
You can take up the NEF at any approved childcare provider: one that is Ofsted registered for early learning and childcare, and approved by the local authority to offer the NEF. These include:
- Out-of-school clubs (breakfast and after school)
You can find a full, up-to-date list of approved childcare providers in the City of London on the FYi Directory.
You do not need to apply for the NEF/FEEE. Your chosen childcare provider will claim the funding on your behalf directly from the local authority.
- You must use an approved childcare provider
- You must take the 15 hours over a minimum of two days
- The childcare provider must look after your child for a minimum of two hours per day
You should discuss with the provider how they will spread the free hours over the week. Some may offer specific packages while others may be flexible to your requirements.
Please note: You will be charged for any additional hours of childcare you take over 15 hours.