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Nursery Educational Funding (NEF)

Early Years Nursery Education Funding

Understanding childcare funding isn’t always easy. In simple terms, you can make the most of either 15 or 30 funded hours per week, depending on your circumstances.

This scheme is for qualifying working parents, the number of hours available and the age at which you can access this funding is changing.

From April 2024 families can receive:

  • 15 hours of funded childcare for children 2+
  • 30 hours of funded childcare for children 3+

From September 2024

  • 15 of funded childcare for children 9 months+

From September 2025

  • 30 of funded childcare for children 9 months+

The funded hours are provided across 38 weeks during term time and, if you’re living with your partner you’ll need to apply together.

This funding goes towards 15 hours of childcare across 38 weeks of term time. All parents of 3 and 4-year-olds qualify and can access this scheme.

Early Years Nursery Funded Childcare

3-4 Years2-3 Years9- 23 Months
Applicable FromNowNowApr 24SEPT 25SEPT 24SEPT 25
Session RequirementNone5 Full DaysFull DaysTBCFull DaysTBC


If children are using their funding hours at more than one childcare provision, parents must notify the nursery to ensure the correct number of hours are claimed for by each childcare provider.


Parents/carers must provide eligibility codes under the working parent criteria to their chosen childcare provider for them to claim the funding on their child’s behalf.
Don’t forget, every three months, sign into your HMRC childcare account to reconfirm your working family funding eligibility code. If you forget, you might lose your funding for the following term, which means you’ll have to pay our standard fee for any time that isn’t covered by the basic 15-hour scheme.

The 15- and 30-hour funding will be applied during the academic year. Funding works alongside the school term schedule and is spread across 38 weeks and is applied the term after they turn 2/3 years old.

Working family funding for when the child becomes eligible
Recommended time to apply for eligibility code:Last date to apply for Eligibility code:
15th October to 30th Novemberby 31st December to be funded from 1st January
15th January to 28th Februaryby 31st March to be funded from 1st April
15th June to 31st Julyby 31st August to be funded from 1st September
Universal funded childcare
A child turning 3 between:Can be funded from:
1st September to 31st December1st January
1st January to 31st March1st April
1st April to 31st August1st September


While the government funding is a great help towards childcare fees, it only covers a limited number of hours and doesn’t pay for all the essentials and extras that make Blue Butterfly Montessori such a special place. These childcare offers are not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips). 

DisclaimerRates are subject to change.  

The Local Authority revise the hourly rate every April. (If this is the case, it will be reflected in your fees from April onwards.)

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