Free early education and childcare for three and four year olds

Help me try something new with free childcare. Find out how much free childcare your 2, 3 or 4 year old could get. Get in touch or call 01243 437503

What is free early education and childcare for three and four year olds?

The government funds up to 570 hours of free childcare per year for all 3 and 4 year olds until they go to full-time school. This works out as 15 hours a week if your child takes up the childcare during term time, or you could choose to take fewer hours over more weeks in the year.

Child’s 3rd birthday is between: When your child can take their place
1 January to 31 March The beginning of Summer term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 August The beginning of Autumn term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 December The beginning of Spring term on or after 1 January

Is my child eligible?

All children age 3 and 4 years are entitled to the funded hours, there are no additional eligibility criteria.

Is it really free?

Yes, the 15 hours are free, and what's more it's worth over £2,500 per year!.

The early education and childcare setting claims the money from Bradford Council for these hours so you don’t have to pay for them. In some early education and childcare settings it is possible to pay for additional childcare if you need to, and some providers may have additional charges for consumables like food. It’s important that you discuss with the early education and childcare provider their charging policy.

Why would I want my child to take up a place?

  • Children develop quickly in their earliest years, and early education supports their development and overall wellbeing.
  • Research shows that good quality early education and childcare from an early age makes a real difference to how well a child does in the future.  
  • Early years and childcare settings are wonderful places for your child to learn, develop new skills, make new friends and have fun.  
  • It will also free up your time to support you to take up training, start, or return to work, and support you to reduce your childcare bill.

Where can my child take up a place?

Places are available across the district at childminders, day nurseries, independent school nurseries, nursery schools, pre-schools, and primary school nurseries.

How do I apply for a three year old place for my child?

To apply for a place, firstly, find an early education and childcare provider to meet you and your child’s needs.

You can use our childcare finder or phone 01274 437503.

The early education and childcare provider will ask you to complete a parent agreement form, they will then check your child’s date of birth, and will inform you when your child can start attending.

If you need further information or support accessing a three and four year old place, please contact us on