Finance and Funding

‘Tax Free’ Childcare Accounts

Parents can apply for Tax-Free Childcare through the digital childcare service. Working parents of children aged under 12 can use this, through their childcare service account, to pay for registered childcare. The Government will top-up the money that parents pay into the account. For every £8 parents pay in, the Government will add an extra £2. Parents can receive £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 if your child has a disability.  


The eligibility criteria for Tax-Free Childcare is broadly aligned with 30 hours free childcare. The main differences are that Tax-Free Childcare is not available for children under 12 whose parents are in receipt of tax credits, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers. Parents in receipt of these can choose, as part of the childcare service application, whether they want to keep these benefits and apply for the 30hrs only, or leave these benefits and apply for Tax-Free Childcare instead. Halesowen Day Nursery is registered to accept Tax Free Childcare payments through the HMRC online facility. It is still parent’s responsibility to ensure payments reach us on time, on the 1st of every month.  


The Childcare Choices website is a useful place to go in order to find out more about your options as well as information about tax credits for childcare, universal credit for childcare and support with childcare fees while you study. It provides access to the application process for the tax free childcare accounts and for the 30hour funding entitlement – please make sure that you tick the boxes that are applicable to your individual circumstances. Eligibility for all options, including the 30 hours is determined by HMRC but can be checked by parents through the relevant government website. 


“Government funding is intended to deliver 15 or 30 hours a week of free, high quality, flexible childcare. It is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables, additional hours or additional activities. Parents can therefore expect to pay for any meals offered by the provider alongside their free entitlement. Parents can also expect to pay for other consumables or additional activities offered by the provider, such as nappies or trips. Where parents choose to purchase additional hours of provision, consumables or additional activities, this is a private matter between the provider and the parent”

Government Operational Guidance, June 2018 


There are various opportunities for parents to receive childcare funding in the UK, from the term after their child is 2 years of age. Funded hours can be taken either with or without additional chargeable hours. 


Time for Twos

The term after their child’s 2nd birthday, some parents become eligible to receive the means-tested Time for Twos funding. This is 15 hours per week of funded childcare for 38 weeks of the year; equating a total of 570 hours of funded education per year. This can be taken term-time only or stretched over 51 weeks. Please refer to the government criteria for Time for Twos Funding on their website:, to find out if you might be eligible. 


Universal 15 Hours

The term after their child’s 3rd birthday, ALL parents become eligible for the Universal Funding of 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. This equates to a total of 570 hours of funded education per year which can be taken term-time only (full fees payable for non-term-time) or stretched over 51 weeks.  


30 Hours Childcare

The term after their child’s 3rd birthday, some parents become entitled to an additional 15 hours of funding per week for 38 weeks of the year - this is referred to as the 30 hours entitlement or the +15 hours entitlement. This funding equates to a total of 1140 hours of funded education per year, which can be taken term-time only (full fees payable for non-term-time) or stretched over 51 weeks. Please refer to the government criteria for 30 Hours Funding on their website:, to find out if you might be eligible.  


PLEASE NOTE: It is the parent’s responsibility to check their eligibility through HMRC, obtain an eligibility code and share it with us so that we can verify their eligibility prior to officially offering them the 30 hours funding. They are then responsible for re-registering their eligibility every 3 months with HMRC. If they fail to do any of the above, any fees not funded by the local authority, will be payable by the parents themselves.  

The table below shows when your child will become eligible for their Early Education Funding: 




Early Years Pupil Premium

In addition to the above, some 3 & 4 year olds are also eligible for EYPP funding to support them to achieve their future goals. Again this funding is means tested and is also available for children who have been in care or adopted from care, it is paid directly to the childcare setting and we then have to evidence how the money was spent and the impact on the individual child for whom it is allocated. For more information and the eligibility criteria please follow this link

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