Free Early Years Childcare Entitlement for three and four-year-olds (including 30 hours free childcare) - Service Personnel @ Gov.UK

Posted 17th Dec 2022
The Offer UK
  • England: 15 hours for children aged three and four; 30 hours for those with working parents.
  • Scotland: at least 600 funded hours per year (up to 1140 hours in some local authority areas).
  • Wales: up to 30 hours free early education/ childcare for working parents for 48 weeks of the year.
  • Northern Ireland: 12.5 hours per week of free preschool education.
Overseas In MOD Schools/settings, 15 and 30 hours of free childcare can be accessed free of charge. Parents should apply via their childcare/early learning/nursery setting.

In Non-MOD schools/settings parents can claim a refund by means of Overseas Nursery Authority (ONA) DIN accessible via Defence Intranet Defence Instructions and Notices - Home ( - (DIN Ref. 2022DIN01-008).

What parents need to do
  • Register early with Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) if posted abroad with children CEAS form 1 (CEA request form) (
  • If moving within the UK, check out what the local offer is prior to moving to avoid missing out on free hours.
  • Engage with nurseries early.
Eligibility Every parent with children aged three and four years old is eligible for the basic free childcare entitlement from the term following their child’s third birthday.

Additional hours:In England and Wales, additional hours are only available to working parents who can answer “yes” to one or more of the following:

  • Do both you and your partner work 16 hours per week or more (earning at least National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW)?
  • Is your individual annual employment income below £100,000?
  • Are you a single parent?
  • Are you on paid maternity leave?
  • Are you a registered carer?
In Scotland, visit Parent Club or for information about early learning and childcare (ELC).

If you have any issues applying online for the Free Early Years Childcare, please call the Childcare Service Helpline on 0300 123 4097.

In overseas locations, the MOD will mirror entitlements which parents would have access to in England to ensure they are not disadvantaged. Please read 30 hours free childcare DIN for full details.

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  1. Avatar
    Definitely worth claiming if you can as Nursery are so expensive. It's a small saving but vital for working parents.

    They should definitely make it accessible before 3 in my opinion and increase the hours as a week can be 50 hours (edited)
  2. Avatar
    Be great if before 3. Got a 2 year old and it's extortionate, cheaper for the wife not to work. How stupid are the tories basically encouraging it when they are the party of 'working people' tosh.
    You also don't qualify until the term after they turn 3, so if born around Easter, you won't get it until the following September, which can be months
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