Funded nursery places

Government funded places

We offer FREE places to families who are eligible for government funding in the following ways:

2 year old eligibility: 15 hours per week (either mornings or afternoons)
3 & 4 year old universal entitlement: 15 hours per week (either 5 mornings or 5 afternoons)
3 & 4 year old extended entitlement: 30 hours per week (Mon – Thurs 9:00 – 15:30 and Friday. 9:00 – 13:00)

3 & 4 year olds have the optional to pay for additional hours to ‘top up’ their free hours. 

Eligibility for government funding

Funded 2 year old places


The 2 Year Old Early Learning Entitlement:

A child will be entitled to the free hours from the term after their 2nd birthday if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. The child has attained the age of two
  2. The child or parent meets the eligibility criteria. 

A 2-year-old can get free childcare if they live in England and parent is in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit (or both), and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit) 

2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:

  • are looked after by a local authority
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • get Disability Living Allowance
  • have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order 

If parent is a non- UK citizen who cannot claim benefits

If parent/carer immigration status is ‘no recourse to public funds’, they may still get free childcare for their 2-year-old. They must live in England and your household income must be no more than:

  • £26,500 for families outside of London with one child
  • £34,500 for families within London with one child
  • £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
  • £38,600 for families within London with two or more children 

Parent/carer cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.

The relevant dates (in relation to the age criterion) are as follows: A child born on or between

Will become eligible for a free place from

1 January and 31 March

1st April following their second birthday

1 April and 31 August

1st September following their second birthday

1 September and 31 December

1st January following their second birthday

Funded 3 & 4 year olds

Universal entitlement 

All 3 and 4-year-olds in England can get 570 hours free funding per year from the term after their 3rd birthday.

At Chelwood this is taken as 15 hours a week (3 hours a day) for 38 weeks of the year (term times).  For more information about how we offer 15 hour places, see ‘Our offer’.

There is no requirement for parents/carers to apply for this universal entitlement. Once you are enrolled, you will complete a declaration  form each term allowing us to claim the funding on your behalf.

Extended entitlement 

3 and 4 year olds from working families may be entitled to an extra free 15 hours per week term time only, a total of 30 hours of free childcare per week. 

To be eligible for 30 hours free funding, you and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £152 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). 

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you’re unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

You can’t get 30 hours free childcare if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more.

For more information about who is eligible for 30 hour funding and how to apply, visit the governments website here.

REMINDER: To keep your 30 hours free childcare place you need to check your details are up to date and renew the code every 3 months.

What isn’t covered by 30 hour code? 

The 30 hours free childcare offer is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips).  For a full list of our fees, see here.

When is my child eligible for government funding?

A child born on or between 

Will become eligible for a free place from 

1 January and 31 March 

1st April following their third birthday 

1 April and 31 August 

1st September following their third birthday 

1 September and 31 December 

1st January following their third birthday 

When does the government funding end?

This funding is offered until the child reaches compulsory school age (the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday).