Updated as of June 2017.
As a parent or carer of a 3 or 4 year-old, you are entitled to funded hours of childcare. To find out more, please read out Q&A. For any further questions, please ask your local Tops Day Nurseries manager.
Q: When can my child start claiming the 3 & 4 year funding?
A: 3-year-olds will be able to start a funded nursery place in the September, January or April following their third birthday.
Your child’s birthday must be before:
31 March will be eligible for funded nursery education from the Summer Term (April)
31 August will be eligible for funded nursery education from the Autumn Term (September)
31 December will be eligible for funded nursery education from the Spring term (January)
These are the cut off dates. If your child’s birthday is for example on the 1st or 2nd January and the term starts on the 5th January, unfortunately their funding will not start until the Summer term after Easter because they have passed the cut-off date of 31st December.
Q: How many funded hours can my child have?
A: All 3 and 4-year-olds in England are entitled to 570 hours of funded early education or childcare a year. Your child is entitled to a maximum of 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. Approved providers include child-minders, playgroups, pre-schools and day nurseries that are registered and inspected by OFSTED. Parents can choose which provider they would like their child to go to, as long as they have places available.
Working parents may be entitled to 960 hours of funded early education or childcare a year. Your child is entitled to a maximum of 30 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. To find out if you are eligible to claim 30 hours, please click here.
Q: Do all my funded hours have to be with the same provider?
A: No, they do not have to be used with the same provider. You cannot have more than 15 funded hours per week and you do not have to use all 30 hours if you do not want to.
Q: Does my child have to take up an early education place?
A: It is up to you to decide what kind of early education, if any, is right for your child. By law, children are not required to attend any educational setting until the term after their fifth birthday. The grant is only available until your child starts school.
If you are looking for childcare for your 3 or 4-year-old, find out which Tops Day Nursery is closest to you by clicking here and book a visit. We would love to show you around!