The Extended Entitlement - 30 Hour Free Childcare

The extended entitlement provides working parents of 3 & 4 year olds with 1140 hours of government funded childcare over a 52 week period. The information below has been designed to help you find out more about the offer and how you can be involved.


A short film about 30 Hours Free Childcare:

The Department for Education spoke to parents in Wigan who have taken up a 30 hours place for their child as part of the early implementer programme, listen to the additional hours have meant for them.

30 Hours Free Childcare Case Studies:

The Department for Education (DfE) is launching a campaign to promote and raise awareness of the benefits that using 30 hours free childcare can have for working families. Chelsea from Telford shares her story of how #30hours childcare helped her find a healthy work/life balance. Hear from Chelsea and other families who have benefited from 30 hours here:

Florentina from Brent shares her story of how 30 hours allowed her to increase her working hours while her son Erik, who has special educational needs, received speech and language therapy through his nursery:

Debbie and Jamie from Devon share their story of how #30hours free childcare helped them both start working full-time, and increase the no. of days their daughter Ivy attends pre-school:

Murugan from Brent shares how #30hours childcare helped with his family’s finances:

Letesha from Derby shares her story of how #30hours childcare helped bring her family closer together:

Claire from Leeds shares her story of how #30hours childcare helped give her back her "independence":

The DFE has also produced a helpful "How-to" animation to support families applying for 30 Hours free childcare. To watch this animation, please see the following link:

Information for parents and carers of three and four year old children

In Milton Keynes parents will be eligible for the extended entitlement if the following criteria are met:

  • The parents/parent earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months (whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract) 
  • This equates to £120 a week (or c.£6,000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week (or c.£5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old.       
  • The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work.                                                                                     
  • Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.                                                         
  • Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work. 
  • Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (i.e. they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.  
  • If a non-EEA national, the parent must have recourse to public funds.

To begin your application for the extended entitlement, please follow the link: Extended Entitlement Application (this link will take you to the Gov website)

Who will not qualify?

A parent will not meet the criteria when:

  • Either parent has an income of more than £100,000. 
  • Either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control (and has no recourse to public funds).

What happens if a parent loses eligibility?

Parents should be aware that their eligibility code must be revalidated every 3 Months by HMRC. Therefore, parents must log into their HMRC account and renew their eligibility code to enable them to continue to access their extended entitlement.

If a parent loses eligibility for the extended entitlement:

  • They will receive funding for a “grace period” – this means they will be able to keep their childcare for a short period. 
  • Once the “grace period” has lapsed, the parent will only be entitled to the universal 15 hour entitlement.

Check out our 30 Hour FAQ Myth-buster (PDF, 234KB).

Information for professionals

Milton Keynes Council has a duty to secure 30 hours free childcare for eligible three and four  year old's prior to starting school, this is also known known as the extended entitlement. The entitlement provides eligible children with up to 30 hours of free high quality childcare per week over a 38 week period or to a maximum of 1140 hours per year.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available

Useful Links and documents:

Early years business sustainability

Childcare and Family Trust - DfE's 30 hour mixed model partnership toolkit 

30 hours free childcare: LA and early years provider guide

Registering school-based childcare provision

Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage

Early Years Entitlements: Operational Guidance (PDF, 3MB)


For further information about how to become a funded provider contact Milton Keynes Council at

Further information about available funding for providers can be found at:

Last Updated: 30 November 2019