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Childcare Funding

Government support for parents


What's currently available?

Currently, all three and four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours per week of childcare support or early education (30 hours for working families if eligible) and 15 hours for two-year-olds whose families receive some additional forms of Government support (eg income support, universal credit, disability living allowance), over 38 weeks of the year. 

Expansion of support from April 2024

From April 2024, eligible working parents of two-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours of childcare funding support from the Government. This will then be extended further in September 2024 to include children from the age of nine months and from September 2025, working parents of children aged nine months and upwards will be entitled to 30 hours free childcare per week right up to their child starting school.

For your two-year-old to be eligible for the funding from April 2024 you will need to be a working parent and meet the following criteria:


  • Be working parents where both (or sole parent in one family) are working and earn an average of at least the equivalent of 16 hours at national minimum wage and less than £100,000.

  • From April 2024, the minimum wage is £11.44 for 21 years and over which is £183.04 per week / £9,518.08 per year.

  • Or, where one parent is working and meets the criteria above and the second parent is not working because they are receiving a carer benefit or a disability benefit.

What isn't covered?

The 15 or 30 hours does not to cover the costs of meals, snacks or additional activities (such as trips). Additional extra charges will be added to your monthly invoice following receipt of any funding entitlement. 

How do I apply?

The portal for applications for the support for two-year-olds available from April 2024 opens on Tuesday 2 January 2024. Please visit the Government's Childcare Choices website to apply.

You can also find out on this website what other support you may be entitled to, including:

  • 15 hours childcare support for all three and four year olds. You do not have to apply for this as we take care of it.

  • 30 hours childcare support for working families with three and four year olds

  • 15 hours childcare support for two-year-olds whose families receive some additional forms of Government support

  • Tax-free childcare

  • Tax credits for childcare

  • Universal credit for childcare

Alternatively, you can visit Newcastle City Council's website for further information.

Who can I speak to for advice?

If you have visited the Government's Childcare Choices website and still have further questions about funding, please speak with the Plantpots Jesmond manager who will be more than happy to assist.

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