Early years childcare – what funding is available?

Service families may be entitled to claim free early years childcare across the UK and overseas but what is available differs depending on your location and circumstances.


Three- and four-year-olds

  • All families can claim 15 hours’ free childcare for 38 weeks of the year. Some providers will allow you to stretch the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours a week.
  • If both parents are working/serving, you could claim 30 hours’ free childcare for 38 weeks.


  • If you’re in receipt of certain benefits or your child has special educational needs or a disability, you may be able to claim 15 hours for two-year-olds for 38 weeks.

For more info, click here.


  • All families can currently claim 16 hours for three- and four-year-olds. This is also available to eligible two-year-olds.
  • In August, the entitlement will increase to 1,140 hours a year (30 hours a week if taken in term time).

For more info, click here.


  • Families could claim up to 30 hours of free childcare, depending on their circumstances.

For more info, click here.


You could get up to 30 hours’ free childcare overseas in MOD schools and settings, depending on your circumstances. Where there are no MOD schools/settings accessible, a refund of fees paid can be applied for by means of Overseas Nursery Authority.

For more info, click here.


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