9 month olds: 15 hours funded childcare support for working families


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If you are working, your child may be able to access 15 hours childcare support. Find out more on the sections below:

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible if:

> You and your partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £183 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). 

> If you, or your 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

> You cannot get the 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds, if you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 adjusted net income or more.

How can I apply?

You can apply to Childcare Choices online on this link 

In order to apply you will need the following information to hand for you and (if relevant) your partner: 

  • your National Insurance Number (N.I.N)
  • if you're self-employed, your Unique Taxpayer Reference 
  • the date you started, or are due to start work 
  • details of any other government support you get 


  • Parents who plan to start or return to work on or before 30 September 2024 will be able to apply for a code from 12 May 2024, alongside other parents who intend to take up a place in September 2024.  

  • If you are also applying for Tax-Free Childcare, you will only apply to HMRC once for both schemes. 


When can my child start using these hours and when do I need to apply?

Children become eligible the term after turning 9 month old.

If your child turns 9 month old:

> from 1 April to 31 August > Start in September (apply from 12 May-31 August)

from 1 September to 31 December > Start in January (apply September-December)

from 1 January to 31 March > Start in April (apply January-March)


  • Parents who plan to start or return to work on or before 30 September 2024 will be able to apply for a code from 12 May 2024, alongside other parents who intend to take up a place in September 2024.  

  • You must have a valid code by the end of the month before a new term starts. 

  • Please note for children who may be eligible from September, parents will need to apply for a 30 Hours funded place by 31st July of the same year. 

  • You have to reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months. If you apply more than 3 months before the term starts, you’ll have to reconfirm your eligibility in your account in order to keep your code valid. 

How can I get support with my application?

For further information on the funded hours and support with applications, please contact the Childcare Choices helpline on 0300 123 4097.

Where can my child access these free hours?

You can access a list of local providers that are registered to offer this entitlement. Please contact the Family Information Service for information about local providers offering funding places for 9 month olds.

Tel: 07814 804262  
Email: [email protected]

Other important information

  • To continue receiving the government support, you need to reconfirm your details every three months on your gov.uk account.

  • These childcare offers are not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these additions.

  • The hours can be accessed at a participating registered childcare provider only.

  • You can use 15 hours childcare alongside other childcare schemes such as Tax-Free Childcare or Universal Credit Childcare.

  • If you already have a Tax-Free Childcare account and have recently reconfirmed your eligibility, you can find further information in the Department for Education blog post How to claim 15 hours free childcare including how to get your code’

For further information on the funded hours, please contact the Childcare Choices helpline on 0300 123 4097.

Temporary codes to receive 15 hours funded childcare

Following the announcement from the Department for Education regarding temporary codes to receive 15 hours funded childcare for two-year-olds and under twos, NDNA has put together some quick step guides for parents:

If already claiming Tax-Free Childcare

If NOT already claiming Tax-Free Childcare

Page last reviewed: 13/05/2024

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