County Councillor Jayne Rear

Applications open 12 May for childcare funding from 9-months-old

Eligible working parents of children aged from 9-months-old can soon apply for 15 hours funded childcare with a local nursery, childminder or pre-school.

The places will be available from September 2024 as part of a phased extension of childcare provision from the government. Since 1 April 2024, most working parents of two-year-olds have been eligible to receive 15 hours funded childcare per week.

This is in addition to the current offer of 30 hours funded childcare for working parents with children aged three to four.

County Councillor Jayne Rear, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

"It's great news that so many more Lancashire parents will be able to get help with childcare costs to fit in with their family. 

"There are so many benefits for children that access education from an early age, and we are fortunate in Lancashire that almost all our childcare providers have been rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.   

"There are more changes ahead to benefit working parents and next year the 15 hours will increase to 30 hours for eligible families with children from 9-months-old."

Applications for this next stage of the roll out will open on 12 May 2024 via Childcare Choices. Parents will be asked to reconfirm that they are still eligible for the support every 3 months.

It is recommended those eligible apply by 31 July 2024 date so that parents receive their eligibility code by 31 August 2024 date which is the deadline if they want to access a place from September.

Families of 2-year-olds who currently receive some additional forms of government support or are working and on low income should still apply on the county council website to complete an eligibility check. For further details on the eligibility criteria for these families go to and click on the banner for 'Funded places for 2-year-olds'.

The council's Family Information Service is on hand to provide advice and talk parents through their childcare options.  They can be contacted on 0300 123 6712 or email

Notes to editors

From September 2024, 15 hours of free childcare will be extended to all children from working families from the age of nine months.

From September 2025, working parents of children under the age of five will be entitled to 30 hours free childcare per week.

Working parents who individually earn more than £8,670 but less than £100,000 adjusted net income per year are eligible.

For couples, the rules apply to both parents, so both must earn at least £8,670 and neither can earn more than £100,000.