15 hours free childcare - universal funding

All 3 and 4-year-olds can get 15 hours free childcare per week for 38 weeks per year.

It's available from the term after your child’s third birthday. It lasts until they reach compulsory school age.

This universal funding applies to all families, no matter how much you earn.

When will your child become eligible for a free place?

Birthday between these dates Eligible for a free place from this date
1 April and 31 August 1 September following their 3rd birthday until statutory school age
1 September and 31 December 1 January following their 3rd birthday until statutory school age
1 January and 31 March 1 April following their 3rd birthday until statutory school age

How to apply

  1. Contact the Ofsted registered childcare provider of your choice
  2. Complete the application at your chosen provider. 
  3. The provider will then apply on your behalf.

Oldham Council will then pay the provider directly.

15 hours free childcare - extended funding

3 and 4 year-old children from working families can get an extra 15 hours a week of free childcare, so 30 hours in total.

This can be administered over three terms or stretched out to suit your needs.

You won't be eligible for this extended entitlement if you or your partner earn £100,000 or more.


For more information on eligibility, and how to apply, please visit the Childcare Choices website:

Find a provider

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

Children in Oldham get the Free Entitlement. They may get the Early Years Pupil Premium if they meet certain criteria.

The Early Years Pupil Premium is extra funding. It is for investing in improving outcomes for children.

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a government scheme to support working parents with childcare costs.

If eligible, you set up an online childcare account which you can use to pay your childcare provider directly.

For every £8 you pay in, the government will pay in an extra £2. You can get up to £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 for disabled children.

You can use Tax-Free Childcare to pay for:

  • Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • Registered after-school clubs and play schemes
  • Home care workers working for a registered home care agency

Apply for Tax-Free Childcare