30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds


All 3 and 4-year-olds are currently entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week (this is also extended to the most disadvantaged 2-year-olds).

All eligible working parents of 3 and 4-year-olds are also now entitled to an additional 15 free hours of childcare - raising the entitlement to 30 hours during term time. 

To check if you are eligible, see eligibility.

The additional 15 hours of free childcare is available for families where:

  • both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a sole parent family), and
  • each parent earns a minimum of the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the national minimum or living wage, and
  • both parents earns less than £100,000 a year

Where free entitlement places are available

In South Tyneside, free entitlement places will be available in:

  • schools and academies with a nursery class
  • maintained nursery schools
  • pre-school
  • day nurseries
  • childminders

When your child can start

Children can start from the term following their third birthday until they start full-time education, providing they stay eligible.

This is usually in the September following their fourth birthday.

Contact the provider for their term start dates and to arrange settling-in sessions.