Childcare information for Ukraine nationals

Starting school

In the UK, the school year starts in September. Most children start school in the September after their 4th birthday. However, children are not legally required to attend school until the term (September, January, or April) after their 5th birthday.

Childcare options in England

Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) regulate care for children from birth to 18 years of age. All Ofsted-registered childcare providers should display their registration certificate. To get their certificate providers must meet standards and safety measures.

You have different options.

For children aged 0 to 5 years

  • Childminders – look after your child in their home
  • Nurseries – in a converted home, purpose-built nursery or in a workplace
  • Nurseries on a school site – in a school

For children in school up to 12 years old

  • Breakfast or After school clubs (before or after school)
  • Holiday clubs (in the school holidays)

How to find childcare

For a list of the childcare in your area:

Funded childcare for children under 5

To claim any funded hours, you must use an Ofsted registered provider.

When funding starts

In the UK funded childcare starts in April, September, or January.

If your child’s birthday is between:

  • 1 January and 31 March, funding will start in April.
  • 1 April and 31 August, funding starts in September.
  • 1 September and 31 December, funding starts in January.

Types of funding, when and how to apply

2 year olds – up to 15 hours per week

Children aged 2 in families who receive certain benefits, for example Universal Credit, can get funded hours. 

You must apply for the funded hours.

Visit the Parent Portal website, create an account and apply for 2 year funding.

For full details on all funding, see More on funded childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

3 and 4 year olds – up to 15 hours per week

From the April, September or January after their 3rd birthday, all 3 and 4 year olds get 15 hours funded childcare.

You do not need to apply for 15 hours for 3 and 4 year olds. Just find a provider with the session times that are best for you. Funded hours are not available all day every day. You need to check with each provider to find the best offer for you.

You get 15 hours per week, for up to 38 weeks a year, until your child goes to school.

Most childcare providers only provide funded places during term time. Some will spread it across the year, for example 12 hours per week, 48 weeks a year.

It is only the hours that are funded.  Providers can charge parents for a ‘Childcare Package’. This might be items such as snacks, nappies, wipes, sun cream, forest school, yoga etc. 

Check if you will have costs before you register.

For all funded hours, parents must:

  • complete a parental declaration form (your provider will give you this)
  • provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate or passport.

3 and 4 year olds with working parents - up to 30 hours per week

From the April, September or January after their 3rd birthday, 3 and 4 year olds may get 30 hours funded childcare.

It is available for:

  • two parent families where both parents are working and paying UK taxes
  • one parent families where the parent is working and paying UK taxes

Check eligibility and apply: 30 hours free childcare - GOV.UK

The UK tax office (HMRC) will issue an 11-digit code. Take this code to your childcare provider. 

You must renew the code with HMRC every 3 months to continue your funding.

Arranging your childcare

1. Get a list of the childcare providers in your area.
2. Find out which hours each provider has available and any costs.
3. Register with the provider with the best offer for you. For funded hours you will need to:

  • prove your child’s age with a copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport
  • complete a parental declaration form (the provider will supply the form).

4. Make a childcare contract. It agrees:

  • what you will pay
  • any extra costs
  • what you will receive and
  • the notice period you need to give to change the terms of your contract.

Read through your contract together.

Be sure you understand all the conditions before you sign a contract and keep a copy.

The contract protects you and your childcare provider. If there is a disagreement you can return to the contract.

If you need help, contact us

Information for Families

Telephone: 0345 60 80 192 Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm

(calls cost the same as calling an 01 or 02 number)


Text:  07797 870317


Funding team

Telephone: 07562 435644 or 07562 435643