Help with childcare costs

The schemes you can access depend on your child’s age and your personal circumstances.

2 year old childcare funding

If you have a 2 year old, you may be eligible to receive up to 15 hours of childcare a week.

This is available to:

  • working families from April 2024, and will extend to 30 hours from April 2025
  • families receiving some additional form of government support

How childcare funding can help you and your child

These funding entitlements enable children to develop their early learning and childhood experiences and prepare them for school. It also enables their parents or caregivers to get back into work, education, or training.

When your child can start 

If eligible, your child will be able to access their funded place from the term after their second birthday.

When your child becomes eligible

Born on or in between

Eligible for funding from

1 January to 31 March

1 April

1 April to 31 August

1 September

1 September to 31 December

1 January

The funding will continue until the term after your child's third birthday, where they will automatically move to the 3 and 4 year old childcare funding.

Please note, each term we set a 'headcount date' and children not registered and attending with their childcare provider by that date will not be able to claim the grant until the following term. The childcare provider can advise you of the headcount date for the current or upcoming term.

The funding hours explained

Families who claim up to 15 hours a week can get this over 38 weeks in the year, up to a maximum of 570 hours a year. It is common for a place to be delivered over 3 days a week where each session lasts for 5 hours. Alternatively, over 5 days a week where each session lasts for 3 hours.

The funding is flexible, and some providers may offer the 'stretched entitlement'. This means a child can attend for less hours a week but across more weeks during the year, including some holidays.

The childcare provider you register your child with will discuss with you how you can access your funded hours.

What is not covered

Meals, consumables (such as nappies and cream), activities, trips, additional hours are not covered under the scheme, and your provider may charge for these.

Before your child starts their funded place, you will need to sign a contract, also known as a ‘Parental Declaration Form’ with your childcare provider. Here any charges should be made clear and agreed upon before you take up your funded place.

Where you can access a place

This depends on whether you are a Hammersmith and Fulham resident or not, and whether you are trying to access a place within or outside the borough.

H&F residents

If you are a H&F resident, you can access a place with an Ofsted registered nursery, preschool or childminder in the borough who has signed up with us to be part of the scheme.

However, if you would like to access a place in another borough, you will need to speak with them to see if this is possible and if so, the process you will need to follow. Some council’s and providers may prioritise places for families living in their own boroughs.

Non-H&F residents

If you are not a H&F resident but would like to access a place in our borough, first speak with the childcare provider you are interested in to see if this is possible.

We will need to check your eligibility even if this has already been checked and confirmed by your own council. This is because H&F will pay for the place and so we need to carry out our own checks.

Eligibility criteria and further information

The eligibility criteria are different depending on whether you are applying for 2 year old funding for working families or for those receiving some form of government support.

For working families

Eligibility criteria includes:

  • you and any partner must each expect to earn £167 a week which is equivalent to 16 hours each a week on minimum wage
  • you and any partner cannot earn more than £100,000 each a year

If you, or any 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.

For families receiving some form of government support

See our video to learn more about the 2 year old funding for families receiving some form of government support in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Translate this website