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Two year old offer

Eligible 2 year olds can get 15 hours of free childcare a week, for 38 weeks (a maximum entitlement of 570 hours).  Parents can stretch their entitlement over more than 38 weeks by taking fewer hours per week, at participating providers.  Children can take their 2 year old entitlement from the term after their 2nd birthday. 

Check if you are eligible for the 2 Year Old Offer for summer term 2022 using the Citizen Portal, unless you meet the extended eligibility criteria below:

If you’re a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits

Your 2-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and have either:

  1. claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision (known as ‘part 6’)
  2. been refused asylum in the UK (known as ‘section 4’)

A 2-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have either:

  • leave to remain with ‘no recourse to public funds’ on family or private life grounds
  • the right to live in the UK because you’re the main carer of a British citizen (known as a ‘Zambrano Carer’)

If you think you are eligible under these criteria you will have to complete a separate application. Please email with your contact details if you are a non EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits and meets the eligibility criteria above.

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30 hours entitlement

Eligible working families with children aged 3 to 4 years are entitled to 30 hours of free childcare a week, for 38 weeks of the year. This is a total of 1,140 free hours a year.

Families apply for the 30 hour entitlement through the Government’s Childcare Choices website.  

Parents must register for the 30 hour offer on the Childcare Choices website the funding period before they want to start taking their 30 hour entitlement.  The deadlines for applying for funding are as follows:

  • Summer term   Deadline for applications is 31st March
  • Autumn term    Deadline for applications is 31st August 
  • Spring               Deadline for applications is 31st December

Watch this step by step video for information on applying for the 30 hours. The deadline for applying for a funded place for summer term 2022 was 31st March 2022.  Anyone applying for a 30 hour code after this date will be funded in autumn term 2022.

Eligible children can receive the 30 hours from the start of the funding period following their third birthday (click here for more details). Families are no longer entitled to the 30 hours when they start full-time education (i.e. reception year at school).

Parents must renew their code to remain eligible. Children starting a new 30 hours place in summer term 2022 MUST have had an eligible code on the 1st April 2022.    Children must be attending their chosen provider by the 19th May 2022 to receive funding for summer term.

Eligible parents should continue to apply for, and reconfirm, their 30 hours code even if they are not currently accessing their entitlement.  

If you are a parent who is unable to find suitable childcare, please contact

Compensation claims and complaints to HMRC regarding 30 hours applications

If a parent misses out on a 30 hours place, through no fault of their own, they may be eligible for some monetary redress from HMRC. Please note: the parent must have made their application before the termly deadline; and must have paid out for childcare that they would have otherwise have been entitled to for free (i.e. they must meet all other eligibility requirements, such as the child’s age and earnings threshold). If a parent thinks they meets these conditions they should make a complaint by the completing the standard HMRC complaints form or call the childcare service helpline on 0300 123 4097.

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Universal 15 Hours (3 & 4 Year olds)

All three and four year olds are entitled to 570 free hours of early education per year, equivalent to 15 hours a week over a minimum of 38 weeks. Children can stretch their entitlement over more than 38 weeks a year.  This means taking fewer hours per week, subject to a maximum of 570 hours during the academic year.  Children can take their 15 hour entitlement the term after their 3rd birthday.   Children must be attending their chosen provider by the 19th May 2022 to receive funding for summer term.     

A child may access their free place through:

  • nursery schools or nursery classes attached to schools
  • playgroups
  • child care day nurseries
  • private/independent schools
  • childminders

Call 0345 2000 109 for a list of local childcare providers.

Three year olds born between dates shown (inclusive) will be eligible the term following their 3rd birthday:

1st April to 31st August.
The start of the autumn term following their 3rd birthday. That is September.

1st September to 31st December.
The start of the spring term following their 3rd birthday. That is January.

1st January to 31st March.
The start of the summer term following their 3rd birthday. That is April. (Please note that this is the case even if the Easter break falls after 1st April).

Families can find out more about support with childcare costs at the Government’s Childcare Choices website.

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Early Entitlements - Charges

Government funding is intended to deliver 15 or 30 hours a week of free, high quality, flexible childcare. It is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables, additional hours or additional activities. Parents can therefore expect to pay for any meals offered by the provider alongside their free entitlement. Parents can also expect to pay for other consumables or additional activities offered by the provider. 

Where parents choose to purchase additional hours of provision, consumables or additional activities, this is a private matter between the provider and the parent. However, providers must offer alternative options for parents. All parents should have the same rights to access a free entitlement place, regardless of whether they choose to pay for additional hours of provision, additional activities or meals.

Providers should:

  • ensure that their admissions information is clear and accessible for parents; 
  • have a clear invoicing structures in place for parents;
  • have a written agreement with all parents that take up a free entitlement; and
  • publish a statement of how they deliver the free entitlement and any additional charges for optional activities outside of the entitlement i.e. charges for meals, additional activities, or additional hours.


Childcare sufficiency

This report below considers whether there is sufficient childcare in North Tyneside.

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Tax-free childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a Government scheme to help working families with their childcare costs.

Parents will be able to open online childcare accounts to pay their registered childcare providers directly. For every £8 parents pay in to these accounts, the Government will add £2, and the total amount in the account can only be spent on childcare. Parents can receive up to £2,000 in Government support per child, per year, or £4,000 for disabled children.

More information is available in the Parent Guide, which can be found in the 30 hour entitlement section.

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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Support to access the free early education and childcare places is available to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  More information can be found in the Support for Children aged 0-5 Years section of the Local Offer.

Early years Pupil Premium

The Early Years Pupil Premium is additional funding for early years settings to improve the education they provide for disadvantaged 3 & 4 year olds.

Complaints About Funded Childcare Offers

If you are not satisfied that your child has received their free place or with any aspect of the way they have received it you can follow the Authority's complaints procedure.


For more information about North Tyneside's response to Covid-19 please visit

Information for providers of childcare / early education is available here.

For childcare enquiries please email