Places for 3 & 4 year olds

Free part-time early years education for all 3 or 4 year old children.

The offer

  • 15 hours per week for every 3&4yr old child
  • 30 hours per week for children whose parents qualify for extended funding
  • Some settings let you 'stretch' the entitlement to cover school


Children become entitled for a funded place on 1 January, 1 April and 1 September.

For example, if your child's third birthday is on 1 April 2016, they will become entitled for funded part-time early years education from the beginning of the autumn term in September 2016.

Where the Easter holiday falls does not affect eligibility.

We are also able to offer some places to eligible 2 year olds.

How to apply

Funding is paid directly to the childcare provider. Your childcare provider will ask you to complete a form each term and they sort out the funding - you do not need to do anything else.

The Southampton Information Directory lists providers approved by Ofsted and Southampton City Council.

Who is eligible for the 15-hour offer? SHOW

Who is eligible for the 30-hour offer? SHOW

When can my child start receiving 3 & 4 year Old Funding? SHOW

How many hours of early education funding can my child have? SHOW

I have already applied for an account with HMRC - how can I access it? SHOW

I have had technical issues trying to access the 30 hour offer SHOW

Where can my child take up their early education place? SHOW

Does my child have to take up their funded hours of education? SHOW

Will I have to pay anything towards my child's place? SHOW

Where can I get information to help me choose? SHOW