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30 hour extended entitlement FAQs

The 30 hour extended entitlement can be confusing and overwhelming for a parent. 

Take a look at the FAQs and find details of additional support. 


When should I apply?

You can apply up to 20 weeks before the term following your child's 3rd birthday and if you meet the earning requiement. You must have the application made the term before you will be receiving the entitlement.

As part of the application process, you will need to create a Government Gateway account (if you don’t already have one), providing the following:

  •  your name,
  • address, 
  • national insurance number,
  • as well as the same information for your partner (if you have one).

You will be asked if you and (and any partner) expect to meet the income requirements over the coming three months and whether you are in receipt of any relevant benefits.

What happens if I am eligible?

Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you will receive a unique 11-digit code beginning with either ‘500’ or ‘114’, which you must take to your chosen childcare provider(s)

Your childcare provider(s) will be required to validate your code through their local authority secure system, they need your written consent to do this, along with your national insurance number and your child’s date of birth.

You will be required to reconfirm your eligibility every three months by making a declaration that you expect your earnings to fall within the required threshold. You will be prompted by text message or email to do this.

You will be required to reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months, you will be prompted by text message or email to do this.


What if my circumstances change?

If your circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for the extended entitlement, you will retain your funded place for a short period of time known as the ‘grace period’. these are detailed below:

Validity end date

Local authority audit date

Grace period end date

11 February to 31 March

1 April


31 August

1 April to 26 May

27 May

31 August

27 May to 31 August

1 September

31 December

1 September to 21 October

22 October

31 December

22 October to 31 December

1 January

31 March

Does my childcare provider have to offer the extended entitlement?

It is completely up your childcare provider whether they offer funded places or not. They are under no legal obligation to do so.

Can I use more than one childcare provider?

You can split your funded hours between multiple childcare providers for up to two different sites per day.  It can be spilt between a childminder, day nursery or pre-school, however, the childcare providers all have to agree with the arrangements.

Have I to inform HMRC if I use more than one childcare provider?

No – number of hours claimed is checked by the local authority.

HMRC are only responsible for checking eligibility.

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