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30 Hours Funding - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How can the 30 hours be offered?

During Summer 2016 the government carried out a consultation about the 30 hour free childcare entitlement and shared their consultation response.

Highlights in the response are that early years free entitlements (15 and 30 hour):

  • Must be provided over no fewer than 38 weeks each year.
  • Should be able to be stretched over the full year, if possible.
  • Can be delivered between 6am and 8pm, (but no more than 10 hours a day).
  • Can be taken at up to two sites each day and up to three providers in a year.
  • Will not be restricted to a minimum session length. Up to’ additional 15 hours is optional [for both parents and for settings]
  • Flexible- can be delivered by one or more providers [e.g. Schools, wrap around care, child minders etc
  • Flexible- 38 weeks, 48 weeks etc[1140 hours in total], from 6am to 8pm
  • Childminders paid monthly from September 2018 the DFE is considering this for all providers


How much will childcare providers be paid?

The government has promised to increase the level of funding to each local authority and said that 95% of total funding must be passed to providers in 2018/19. They have also said that no more than 10% of total funding can be paid as supplements, so that the basic hourly rate paid to providers is as high as possible.

Harrow Early Years and Family Information service carried out a consultation with settings registered to deliver free early entitlement and the Early Years Providers. The payment rates are set out below:

2018/19 Funding rates

Hourly rate  £4.53 
IDACI (income deprivation affecting children index) £0.05
Flexibility £0.23
Quality £0.23
Total (if qualifying) £5.04
Early Years Pupil Premium £0.53
Early Years Pupil Premium for Looked After Child/Adopted child £3.33


Do you need to offer the full 30 hours?

You don’t have to offer the full 30 hours, a few extra may be all that's needed by parents or you might choose to make informal links with another provider to offer a joined-up, stretched service.

Please see the link below for more information on support in implementing the 30 hours- DfE's 30 hour mixed model partnership toolkit

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