photo of a small birthday cake with a number one candle to symbolise when parents must start investigating preschool fee funding

Tax free childcare and funding

Tax free childcare and funding Overview

You have been thinking about your child’s future since before they were born. The future is arriving soon and you have to start making decisions that will provide them with confidence and happiness to help shape their life. To help you with preschool fees there is Government funding and tax breaks available.There are four main schemes:

All children become eligible for 15 Hours Universal Funding the term after their third birthday and some families are eligible for Two Year Old Funding. Most families where at least one parent works and pays tax may benefit from Tax Free Childcare.

All funding is paid directly to the preschool and before funding can be claimed we need a copy of your child’s birth certificate and the Parent Funding Contract completed; please ask us for further details of the claiming process.

Term Dates

For funding purposes Term Dates can be a bit different to the Bromley school term dates and the preschool term dates. Terms are deemed to start on the following dates:

TermStart date
Autumn Term1st September
Spring Term1st January
Summer Term1st April
Term start dates used for preschool funding.

For example, if your child has their third birthday on 31st December then you can claim 15 hours universal funding from the Spring Term onwards however if your child was born on the 1st January your funding claim would start from the Summer Term onwards.

Summary info sheet

Download the Tax free childcare and funding info sheet. This is an A4 PDF with a summary of the information in the article for you to keep and print.

a photo of a birthday cake showing the number two and model bulldozers to symbolise two year old funding
2 year old funding

​2 Year Old Funding

Government funded early years education for 2 year old children is available under specific circumstances explained in this web page:

How 2 year old funding works

You get a maximum of 570 hours funding until your child is old enough to receive 15 Hours Universal Funding. This is the equivalent of 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the academic year.

How to apply for 2 year old funding

You should apply during the term when your child turns two so funding can start the term after their second birthday. Funding is subject to certain criteria and you need to make the application for your child. If eligible you will be given a code to take to the preschool. We will then check the online system we have access to, using the code, and confirm you can receive funding.

There is an eligibility checker on the Bromley Council website:

photo of chocolate birthday cake with the number three written in smarties to symbolize 15 hour funding
15 hours funding

15 Hours Universal Funding

​The government funding for 3 and 4 year olds is for a maximum of 15 hours a week and given to all children.

More information is available here:

How 15 Hours Funding Works

Funding is 570 hours per year, split over 38 weeks of the school year.  

How To Apply For 15 Hours Universal Funding

All children are eligible for this funding, starting the term after their third birthday. You will need to provide us with a copy of your child’s birth certificate and complete the Parent Funding Contract before any funding can be claimed. The preschool then claim this funding from Bromley.

a photo of two balloons making the number thirty to symbolise 30 hour funding
30 hours funding

30 Hours Funding

You can receive funding for 30 hours per week if both parents are working and in special circumstances if one parent is working. This funding is for children that are 3 and 4 years old; there are lots of rules for eligibility which can be found here:

When 30 Hours Funding is granted other benefits, such as tax credits, may stop. You can use this calculator to check if you will be better off:

More information is available here:

How 30 Hours Funding Works

You will receive an additional 570 hours funding per academic year, split over 38 weeks. Please contact us for details of which sessions are available using 30 hours funding and we will also need your funding code before funding can be allocated to sessions.

How To Apply For 30 Hours Funding

You will need to apply on the government website and from your application you will be told of your eligibility for both the 30 hours funding and Tax-Free Childcare. With this funding you will have to log into your HMRC account every three months to reconfirm your details or your funding code will expire.

You can login here:

a photo of three children blowing out five candles on a cake
Tax-free childcare

Tax-Free Childcare

​​If seeing your hard earned money being taxed is frustrating then watching some being given back will bring a smile to your face. The tax-free childcare scheme replaced the former Childcare Voucher scheme in 2018 and with the current scheme the government pays part of your childcare costs. Parents that joined the Childcare Voucher scheme before it was replaced can continue to use it. This scheme can be used to help with payments to Orpington Montessori Preschool. Most families where at least one parent works and pays tax can use this scheme and eligibility rules are listed here:

How Tax-Free Childcare Works

This scheme works by using an online account for each of your children. For every £8 you pay in, the government adds £2 and you can then use this topped up money to pay the preschool. There is a limit of £500 per child per 3 month period, meaning that up to £2000 per year can be claimed. This scheme carries on after preschool until your child is 11 years old, there is no minimum age.

How to apply for Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare uses a joint application with 30 Hours Funding via the Government website. You will need your National Insurance number and your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re self-employed.

Apply here for Tax-Free Childcare:

Video: Tax Free Childcare – Updated for 2020 & COVID-19

This is a 5.36 minutes video by Mathew Showton of Accounting and Tax Academy.

  • 0:49 – How does Tax Free Childcare work? 
  • 2:08 – Who is eligible for Tax Free Childcare? 
  • 3:29 – Changes to the scheme due to COVID-19 
  • 4:10 – How to apply for Tax Free Childcare
5,36 minute video about Tax-Free Childcare

Reminder sheet

Download the Tax free childcare and funding reminder sheet. This is an A4 PDF with a space for each important event discussed in this article for you to keep and print. Complete the deadline date using your child’s birthday and the information in this article. Then add a sensible target date to make sure tasks, such as checking for eligibility are completed in time. Remember to use the preschool term dates so you know when the preschool is open and give yourself plenty of time to get tasks done.

Download reminder sheet

Age Chart Summary

This table summarises the funding scheme by the age of your child. Note that whilst this table shows the funding for 15 and 30 hours, funding ends the term a child turns 5 years of age. If you delay entry to Primary school until your child is 5 years you may be able to continue receiving funding but please speak to us as soon as possible if this is your intention. Tax-free Childcare continues until your child is 11 years old.

Age2 year old funding15 hours funding30 hours fundingTax-free Childcare
0 to 2Check eligibility, enrol at preschoolCheck eligibility and apply
2 to 3Receive fundingEnrol at preschool and provide documentsCheck eligibility and applyReceive funding for preschool and Orpington Holiday Club
3 to 4NoneReceive funding for preschoolReceive funding for preschoolReceive funding for preschool and Orpington Holiday Club
4+None, attending Primary schoolNone, attending Primary schoolNone, attending Primary schoolCan receive funding for Orpington Holiday Club
A summary of preschool fee funding by age.

Funding Checklist

  1. Enrol at the preschool
  2. Check 2 year old funding eligibility
  3. Start at Rushmore House Montessori Preschool on or after your child’s 2nd birthday
  4. Submit birth certificate and sign the parental contract to the preschool office so that funding can be claimed
  5. Check 30 hours and Tax-free childcare funding
  6. Your Child’s 3rd birthday
  7. Universal 15 hours, 30 hours, and Tax-free childcare funding starts the term after your child’s 3rd birthday
  8. If receiving 30 hours funding you must reconfirm your details every 3 months.


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article you should not make any financial or child care decisions without checking the Government and Bromley Council websites to confirm the details are correct.


Feature Photo by Brett Garwood on Unsplash
2 year old funding Photo by Tim Cooper on Unsplash
15 hour funding Photo by Corina Rainer on Unsplash
30 hour funding Photo by Johannes W on Unsplash
Tax-free childcare Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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