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Services in Christchurch

30 Hours Childcare

Working parents, with three or four year olds, can claim up to 30 hours funded childcare a week. 

This is to help with the cost of childcare and enable them, where they wish, to return to work or to work additional hours.

The Government funding covers up to 30 hours of high-quality childcare. Your childcare provider may still charge for meals, snacks and consumables, such as nappies or sun cream. They may also charge for additional specialist services, clubs and trips. 

Applying for 30 hours childcare

Parents can apply using the online Childcare Service.

If you are eligible, you will be given an 11 digit code by HMRC via the Childcare Service. 

You should apply for 30 hours childcare and get your code the term before you wish to claim your child’s place. This code must be given to your childcare provider.

If you become eligible for 30 hours part-way through the term, you can start claiming the additional hours, the term after you got your code.


Apply through Childcare Service by

Entitlement from

 31 March

1 April

31 August

1 September

31 December

1 January

HMRC are responsible for checking whether a parent is eligible and issuing the 11 digit code. This is not done via childcare providers or Bournemouth, Christchurch Poole Council.

We will only fund a 30 hours place where the code start date reflects an application made on time, under the HRMC Childcare Service’s terms of entitlement.  Queries over the start date of a code must be made direct to the Childcare Service Helpline 0300 1234 097

Reconfirming your eligibility

Every three months you will need to reconfirm that the details you entered on your application are still accurate. This should be done via the online Childcare Service.

If your circumstances have not changed

You just need to tick a box to confirm this.

If your circumstances have changed

You need to log into your childcare service account, amend and then re-submit your details.

Eligibility Criteria

Your child will be entitled to 30 hours childcare from the term after both of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Your child has reached the age of three
  • You have a current confirmation of eligibility from HMRC

The Government has extended eligibility to children in foster care where the foster parents meet certain eligibility criteria.

The eligibility criteria can be viewed on the Childcare Service Website.

Starting School

All 3 and 4-year-old children are entitled to up to 6 terms of Early Education Funding, commencing in the term following their third birthday.

This ceases at the point a child enters the Reception Class of a school or academy. 

This will be the case even when a child has a staggered start or is initially attending school part time. This is because the school is funded for a full-time place from 1 September, although many will stagger admission through September and October – parents have the right to request a full-time education for their child from 1 September and should be directed to the school if childcare from that date is a barrier.

Children, whose entry to school has been officially deferred via the School Admissions team, can continue to access EEF as normal, as can children that attend reception class in an independent school.

Parents who make this choice will need to pay the full costs of that place to their provider, as their child’s entire funding entitlement for a full time place is being received directly by the school or academy.

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