Childcare funding and support

Table of Contents

Free early education

All three and four year olds attending an Early Years Provider registered within the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead can claim Early Education Funding and are entitled to up to 15 hours of free childcare per week (term-time), equivalent to a maximum of 570 hours per year. This starts in the term after a child's third birthday, the three and four year old early education entitlement stops when a child starts in reception class at school, or at the end of the term in which a child turns five, if still attending an early years provision and not school. Providers must deliver flexible packages of free hours within the parameters set out in the statutory guidance, these are:

  • no session to be longer than 10 hours, and not before 6am or after 8pm.
  • no minimum session length; no artificial breaks.
  • sessions can take place on any day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday.
  • a maximum of two sites in a single day.
  • meet the quality requirements as set out in regulations and in the statutory guidance.

Early Education Funding is intended to deliver 15 or 30 hours per week (term-time) of free, high-quality, flexible childcare. It is not intended to cover the cost of meals, other consumables, additional hours or additional activities. Parents can expect to pay for these; although the charges for meals, consumables and additional activities must be voluntary for the parents. 

To access your free entitlement, you just need to talk to your childcare provider, and they will ask you to complete a parent declaration form.  The information you provide will be used in accordance with the privacy notice.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Early Years Team at: You can also find out further information about the support available to families with children under five on the Families in the Foundation Years website.

Some two year olds may be eligible for up to 15 hours per week (term-time) funding. More information on this is available on the 2 year old funding webpage. If you would like to know more about the free entitlement for two year olds, or would like to apply for your child, please call 01628 685959 or email:

Should you have any reason to query or complain about your child's Early Years Free Entitlement, please contact the Early Years Team at:

3 and 4 year old 30 hours free entitlement

Some 3 and 4 year old children of working parents will qualify for up to 30 hours of free childcare. Parents need to apply for an Eligibility Code via The Childcare Service helpline is 0300 123 4097.

30 hours free entitlement for foster parents

Foster parents who work outside of their roles as foster parents, and foster three and four year old children, may qualify for the 30 hours of free childcare. Please talk to your social worker before you apply, they will need to support your application.

To apply please contact the Early Years Team at: or call 01628 682961.