Help paying for childcare
Last updated: 3 January 2018

When funded early learning and childcare can start

Your local council will tell you what's available in your area.

If your child is eligible for funded early learning and childcare, they will start at the beginning of a school term, such as:

  • August (the beginning of autumn term)
  • January (the beginning of spring term)
  • March or April (the beginning of summer term)

When your child starts will depend on their birthday.

Birthday When your child can start funded ealy learning and childcare
Between 1 March and 31 August August (autumn term)
Between 1 September and 31 December January (spring term)
Between 1 January and last day February March or April (summer term)

If your child has not had their 5th birthday before they are due to start primary school, you can defer your child's entry to primary school by a year.

If your child is deferring entry to school for a year, you can:

  • automatically get an extra year of funding if their 5th birthday is between January and the end of February
  • apply to your local council and request an extra year of funding if their 5th birthday is between the beginning of the autumn term, in August, and 31 December - your local council will decide if your child will get an extra year of funding.

Learn more about when your child can start school.