30 hours free childcare for 3 & 4 year olds
From September 2017 most working parents of 3 and 4 year olds will be eligible for an extra 15 hours of free childcare a week, term time or under a stretched offer. This will be added to their current universal entitlement of 15 hours, this means that their free early education entitlement will increase to a total of 30 hours a week; this is currently being offered over term time or 48 weeks. The DfE is consulting on whether this can be stretched to 51 weeks. If spread over a whole year, the current 570 hours of free childcare these parents receive will increase to 1140 hours.
The government is encouraging childcare providers to offer the entitlement flexibly and extend the 1140 hours over the whole year if possible. They are encouraging partnership working between childcare providers. For example, the entitlement can be split between up to three separate childcare providers but at no more than two locations in any single day.