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What To Expect From The September 2024 Childcare Funding Expansion

From September 2024 the expansion to families accessing funded childcare will include children aged from 9 months old. At Rosedene, we’re excited to be welcoming more babies to our settings across the North East, and in this blog, we explain more about the funding changes and how you can access this for your family.

Who is eligible?

Funding depends on some eligibility, such as the income of parents and the birth date of children. You can check your eligibility on the Childcare Choices Website and we have put together a helpful table below regarding birth dates, and the term the child would be able to begin receiving funded childcare.

What does the funding include and exclude?

Funded childcare is only available for 38 weeks of the year, which is normally referred to as ‘Term time only’ meaning that for the remaining 14 weeks of the year, families will need to pay the full amount of childcare. Some nurseries, such as Rosedene, offer an option ‘stretched funding’ where families can stretch their funding entitlement across the year by reducing the funded hours each week.

For example, rather than using 15 hours of funded childcare per week, you could use just 11 hours, which would help to cover those 14 weeks of the year which is not during term. This is just an example and is dependable on the nursery and its availability.

Funded childcare also only covers certain costs within a nursery environment, what it doesn’t cover is what is known as consumable items such as food, snacks, drinks, nappies, wipes, trips, events, and resources within the nursery. This is why it is important not to confuse ‘funded childcare’ with ‘free childcare’.

Why has the government expanded childcare to babies aged from 9 months old?

This govenment initiative is aimed to enable more parents to return to work after their parental leave ends. With families able to access funded childcare support from 9 months old, it allows families to return to work without the added pressures of childcare costs, which was previously only funded from 3 years of age.

In a child’s first three years, children develop physically, cognitively and emotionally at a faster rate than at any other time in their lives. Early years education is proven to benefit children’s development at this stage of their lives.

How and when to apply?

You’ll need to either log into your current Government Gateaway account or create a new one to manage your childcare funding, this isn’t a long process but you’ll need a few things to get started.

-          Your National Insurance Number

-          Access to your mobile phone or landline

-          One of more of the following – Your UK Passport, Tax Credits, P60 or a recent payslip.

There will be a section on your account once you’re logged in called ‘Free Childcare For Working Parents’ Here is where your code will be shown for each child eligible. The code will need to be shared with your nursery manager so your eligibility can be checked with the local authority.

Families who benefit from funding from September 2024 can apply from 12th May, to ensure you are prepared with valid codes for funding.

You will need to reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months via your Government Gateway account, if you apply 3 months before your eligible term starts, you’ll need to reconfirm your eligibility in your account to keep your code valid.

In some cases you may need your child’s NHS number to check the eligibility of your codes, an easy way  to find this out is by visiting

More Information

It’s very important to speak with your nursery manager to ensure that they are aware of any changes you are planning to make to your children based on your funding, particularly what your required sessions are to ensure that they are available. With the expansion built to benefit more families across the country, nurseries are expected to be busier than ever, and availability may be limited.

If you’re looking to secure your child’s place at one of our nurseries, head to our contact page where you can get in touch directly for more information, and to book that all-important visit

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