Free Childcare for Three and Four Year Olds
Free childcare through childminders, preschools, private nurseries or nurseries
All three and four year old children living in West Berkshire are entitled to up to 15 hours of free childcare, for up to 38 weeks per year.
How does it work?
West Berkshire Council pay participating providers for the childcare you use - just get in touch with the providers of your choice to make arrangements.
Parents should never end up with any invoices or bills for accessing these services as long as they're within what we've agreed to pay for.
Some rules apply to claiming free childcare hours:
- you can only share your free hours between a maximum of two different providers
- the childcare needs to be used at least two days a week
- no single session should be shorter than two and a half hours, or longer than 10 hours
Please note: funding cannot be claimed for four year olds that are attending school in the September following their fourth birthday.
Children become eligible for funding on the dates set out below:
|Born between||Eligible from (following third birthday)|
|1 April - 31 August||1 September* (Autumn Term)|
|1 September - 31 December||1 January* (Spring Term)|
|1 January and 31 March||1 April (Summer Term)|
*Actual start dates will vary in line with West Berkshire School Term Dates - these will not necessarily start on the first day of the month.
If you need further information, please take a look at our frequently asked questions [144kb] about Free Entitlement funding.