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Livewell Southend / Children, Young People and Families

Paying for Childcare

Are you using registered childcare? If so, you may be able to some help paying for it.

The main areas of funding are summarised in this section.

Free Early Years Education and Childcare for 2 year olds

Free childcare places for 2 year olds

Some 2 year olds can get up to15 hours of free childcare a week for 38 weeks.  The maximum each year is 570 hours. 

You can get free childcare from the term after your child’s 2nd birthday, as long as you have got a valid eligibility code.

Free Early Years Education and Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to up to 15 hours’ free childcare over 38 weeks. The maximum each year is 570 hours.

Your child will be eligible from the term after their third birthday.

Working parents could get an extra 15 hours’ free childcare for their 3 and 4 year olds.

Working Parents

Find out about other help parents can get childcare costs.

Childcare Choices is a user friendly resource providing information about all of the different types of help with childcare costs.  Including Tax free childcare, Universal credit for childcare, and help with the cost of childcare while you study

Parents can use the Government childcare-calculator to find out what schemes they are eligible for and how much they can get towards the cost of childcare.


Studying Parents

If you are over 20 years old you may be entitled to the Discretionary Learner Support Fund that can be used to pay for childcare. You will need to talk to the Educational Settings Student Support Service.

If you are under 20 years old then you may be entitled to the Care to Learn fund. For further information about the support available, call the Learner Support Helpline on 0800 1218989 or visit the website link below.

Care to Learn on GOV.UK - Click here

Support whilst you study on GOV.UK - Click here

Visit the Family and Childcare Trust website - Click here

Childcare for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

SEND Local Offer Logo

Many younger children with additional needs through a disability or long term illness enjoy high quality mainstream childcare in settings in Southend-on-Sea. You may be entitled to some of the funding methods described above. In addition to these your child may also be entitled to Disability Living Allowance, the disabled-child element of Child Tax Credit; and Direct Payments. These additional routes can be used to pay for childcare and respite care (including Short Breaks).

Visit the Contact website

Visit the SEND Local Offer website

 Last updated: 22 Dec 2022

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