Free places for 3 and 4 year olds

All children are eligible for a free early years place from the term after their 3rd birthday. Terms start on 1 September, 1 January and 1 April.

How many hours am I entitled to? 

All children are entitled to 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. This totals 570 hours per year and is known as the universal entitlement or universal hours.

Working parents may be entitled to an additional 15 hours per week which is known as 30 hours free childcare

How do I find a place for my child?

There is a choice of providers such as a school nursery or private provider. Private providers include preschool playgroups, private day nurseries, childminders and independent schools. View approved providers or contact the Family Information Service on 0161 912 1053 for help finding a local provider.  

How do I claim my free hours?

Once you have found a place for your child, you need to complete an early years declaration form so we know where to fund your place. A paper declaration form is available from the Family Information Service on 0161 912 1053.

How do I receive my hours?

It is up to your childcare provider to confirm how they can offer you the free hours. This means that the number of hours in a session and the days available may be different at each provider.

Some providers who are open all year may let you use less hours per week over the full year. You may find this is an easier way to work out any payments you need to make to your provider for additional hours or services. Talk to your provider about the options they offer.