Paying for Childcare
Are you using registered childcare? 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 3 and 4 year olds
From the start of the term following their third birthday every child is entitled to 15 hours free early years education and childcare per week over 38 weeks. Sometimes this can be stretched across the year. This is equal to 570 hours per year until they start a reception class in school.
Free Early Years Education and Childcare for 2 year olds
Limited free funding for two year olds is also available to parents on certain benefits.
There are also a number of ways that you may be able to help support your childcare fees, including the childcare element of working tax credits, employer supported childcare, childcare vouchers, universal credits and/or tax-free childcare vouchers. More information about these can be found on the GOV.UK website and the Family and Childcare Trust website.
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.
Childcare for Children with Disabilities and Special Needs
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).