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Forest Row School

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3-4-year old Funding

Universal 3-4 year old funding

From the term after their 3rd birthday, all children get 15 hours funded childcare. This is per week, for up to 38 weeks a year, until they go to school.  Please speak to us about how these 15 hours can be used.

You will also have to provide a completed parental declaration form, which we will give you, so that we can make the claim.  This declaration form will be reviewed with you termly, or if there are any changes to your situation.  You will also need to provide a copy of your child’s birth certificate/passport.


Working parents: 30-hour funding 

This is class as the extended offer.

Working parents of 3 or 4 year olds can apply for up to 30 hours funded childcare a week.  This is for families where both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family).


To claim you would have to meet the following criteria:

  • Each of you (or the lone parent) must earn, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW) and less than £100,000 per year.
  • This includes employed and self-employed parents as well as parents on zero hours contracts who meet the criteria above. ·
  • This also includes where one or both parents are in receipt of benefits in connection with sickness or parenting, who are treated as if in paid work. 
  • Where one parent (in a couple household) is entitled to, specific benefits related to caring, incapacity for work or limited capability for work, they are treated as though they are in paid work.
  • Newly self-employed parents do not need to demonstrate they meet the income criteria for the first 12 months (start-up period).
  • Foster Carers (subject to approval from child’s social worker)


Please note that all families will remain eligible for the universal 15 hours per week offer regardless of their eligibility for the extended offer.


How to apply:

  • You should apply directly to HMRC via: https://www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare?utm_source=childcarechoices&utm_medium=microsite
  • Applications to HMRC must be completed before the start of the funding period that you want to start the claim. For example, to start claiming funding from January, applications to HMRC must be completed before 31st December.
  • If you do not complete the process before the term start, you will not be able to claim until the following term.
  • If you are successful, you will receive an 11-digit voucher code. We need this code to validate the claim.
  • It is important to note we have no access to this process and HMRC are the only point of contact regarding the process.

You will also be required to complete a parental declaration form so that we can make a claim. This declaration form will be reviewed with us either on a termly basis, or if there are any changes to your situation.

Please note this code has to be reconfirmed every term and HMRC will send you an email to remind you.  If you do not reconfirm this code, it will no longer work and you will not receive the extended funding.  From experience to date, there is no flexibility on this.


East Sussex County Council have created a tool to search what funding streams you may be eligible for called ‘childcare choices’. This is an interactive tool that will support you in understanding which funding streams you can apply for.