Childcare service opens for parents with children under five

Department for Education

July 19
15:55 2017

Parents with a child under five years old can now apply for a 30 hours free childcare place for September 2017.

The new 30 hours free childcare offer for working parents of three and four-year-olds in England doubles the current 15 hours of free childcare currently available to all parents, offering a total saving for eligible working families of up to 5,000 a year.

For parents across the UK, Tax-Free Childcare will cut childcare costs by up to 2,000 per year for each child under 12 years old, or 4,000 per year for disabled children under 17 years old. Parents with a child born on or after 1 April 2013 can now apply for Tax-Free Childcare. All eligible parents will be able to apply for Tax-Free Childcare by the end of 2017.

The governments total childcare offer is backed by a record investment of more than 6 billion per year by 2020, supporting working families and those on low incomes.

Eligible parents can apply for both 30 hours free childcare and Tax-Free Childcare via the governments online childcare service. They can apply for all of their children once their youngest child qualifies, avoiding the need to provide the same information twice and saving them valuable time.

The service initially opened to parents with children under the age of four, and disabled children under 17, in April 2017 and more than 140,000 parents have already successfully applied through the service.

Parents can access the Childcare Choices website,, to see what childcare offers they could be eligible for. The Childcare Choices website includes a Childcare Calculator for parents to compare all the governments childcare offers and check what works best for their families.

The site also enables parents to pre-register for email alerts that will notify them when they can apply, as well as providing details of existing government childcare offers.

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