Free early education

Service information

Tax-free childcare

Tax-free childcare will start from 28th April 2017 for parents of children under 2 and will be available to all parents with children under 12 years of age (or under 17 if disabled) by the end of 2017.

Find out more on tax-free childcare.

30 hours of free early education

From September 2017, eligible 3 to 4 year olds will be able to claim up to 30 hours free early education per week.

Find out if you are eligible.

Parents can apply for a childcare services account.

The childcare services account is a single online application for 30 hours funded childcare and tax-free childcare. More detailed information.

If you have applied for 30 hours free childcare and you disagree with the eligibility outcome as determined by HMRC, there is a review and appeals process available. The review and appeals process is managed by HMRC. Please contact the HMRC Customer Helpline on 0300 123 4097.

What is free early education for 2, 3 and 4 year old children?

Free early education is an opportunity for your child to join in play based activities in a quality environment to support their developmental learning journey.  Research clearly demonstrates that good quality early education benefits children in the long term in respect of enhancing their all round cognitive, language, and social and emotional development.

Research has shown that access to quality early education improves children’s outcomes and can

  • improve children’s development, for example, their communication skills
  • help them to learn to socialise with other children and to make friends
  • help them to begin to get ready for school
  • help them to extend their skills and experiences, develop their confidence and build on what they know

Your child will have the chance to play and learn in an environment that will help to extend their skills and experiences , develop their confidence and build on what they already know.

Free early education providers

Free early education is provided by a range of providers in the maintained, private and voluntary and independent sectors .  For more information and a description of each provider contact the families information service on (01254) 667877 or go to page 10 of the "Free early education for 3 and 4 year old children 2016/2017" handbook.

Find out more

Find out more about


Contact details

Mail Families Information Service, Ground Floor, 10 Duke Street, Blackburn, BB2 1DH
Phone Number(s) 01254 667877
Fax Number(s) 01254 585280
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