2. The application process

Please download and complete the application form below. Alternatively, you can request a copy from The Free Entitlement Team who can be contacted via email:

Applications will be assessed within 2 weeks from receipt of application.

Evidence of eligibility required with the application form will be either:

  • Current payslip – if already in employment
  • Job offer letter – if returning to work within 31 days
  • Tax return – if self employed
  • Child’s care plan

If one partner is not a foster parent, there will need to be a check that the partner is meeting the normal income requirements for 30 hours. I.e. they must be in qualifying paid work and earn a minimum of the equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum/national living wage. In this circumstance, the following additional information will be required:

  • Evidence of income – current payslip

The Foster Service Team Manager who is the local authority’s nominated designated person will assess the application.

Issuing an eligibility code

Once an application has been assessed and is eligible for the extended entitlement the Free Entitlement Team will generate a 30 hour code via the ECS (eligibility checking service) and issue the code to the foster parent, who will take this code the their chosen early years provider. This can be outside of the issuing local authority.

The Free Entitlement Team will also inform the child’s social worker when a 30 hour code has been issued. When a 30 hour free childcare place can be accessed

A foster parent can take up the 30 hours free childcare:

  • at the start of the term following the child’s third birthday; and
  • at the start of the term after they have received an eligibility code as follows:
Date parent receives eligibility code Child can take up a funded place
Between 1 January to 31 March the term starting after 1 April
Between 1 April to 31 August the term starting after 1 September
Between 1 September to 31 December Between 1 September to 31 December


Foster parents will be required to reconfirm eligibility every three months by completing a simple declaration form supported by the following evidence:

  • Updated evidence of earnings
  • Confirmation that accessing 30 hours is still consistent with the child’s care plan

The Free Entitlement Team will inform parents 4 weeks before they need to reconfirm their eligibility.