IMPORTANT NOTE: This guidance is based on the most up to date information from DfE Early Years Entitlement: Operational Guidance as amended or added to by Hull City Council or ERYC local Authority. It is subject to change as the DfE or Local Authority issue new guidance.

Tax-Free Childcare and 15 & 30 hours free childcare are two separate government schemes, to help parents with the cost of childcare. You can apply for both through one online application – the childcare service.

All Parents can use Tax-Free Childcare alongside the 3 & 4 year old 15 and 30 hours free childcare schemes.

Parents can’t use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as they receive childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits.

The Tax Free Childcare System can be used by all parents regardless of age. If you have to pay childcare fees you can use the tax free childcare system to pay for all or some of your fees. Just like most parents to with childcare vouchers. The Tax Free Childcare system is replacing childcare vouchers, which will phase out over time. You can still use childcare vouchers and Tiptoes still accepts all childcare vouchers.


15 & 30 hours free childcare

Everyone gets 15 ‘universal’ hours per week and then you can apply to HMRC for the further ‘extended’ 15 hours to total 30 hours. Parents who are using only 15 Universal hours still have to complete local authority forms and present certain ID items to receive it.

How to apply for the extended 15 hours? Please use the link below to find out more. We recommend that you do not wait to do this….. please create your account, login and get to understand how it works online.

Tiptoes are committed to, and, are now one of the only few childcare providers in the area providing these hours FREE. We don’t charge for meals, consumables or extras. We will strive to do this as long as we can, though this is becoming more challenging as the funding rates set by the government have not changed now for 3 years, whilst increasing living wage and pensions, which are over 80% of our costs.

All three and four year olds are entitled to 15 hours  of free nursery education for 38 weeks of the year.

The full 15 hours of funding entitlement has to be taken over no fewer than 2 days a week and 10 hours of funding can be taken one day per week.

If your child is born between: They are eligible for a funded hours place from:
1 April and 31 August 1 September following their third birthday or the beginning of the autumn school term
1 September and 31 December 1 January following their third birthday or the beginning of the spring* school term
1 January and 31 March 1 April following their third birthday or the beginning of the summer* school term


Extended additional 15 hours free childcare (extended entitlement)


We recommend that ALL parents whose child will be 3 or over before the start of the next term apply well before the start of the term, about 3-4 weeks. Some parents have problems and you need to give yourself time to solve them as the freephone HMRC number gets busy and at times multiple calls are required in order to sort issues.  Tiptoes cannot do this for you.

If a parent does not apply on-line before the start of the term they will not be granted the extended entitlement until the following term, so please get online and apply as soon as you can. Any information you enter will need to be verified again in approx. 3 months, so, you may be tempted to leave this until closer to the term start, but please don’t. Some parents have missed out, the local authority are not giving in, if you don’t have a valid code before the term starts then you just don’t get the additional free hours until the next term. When your application is successful you will be given an 11-digit code, your “Eligibility Code”. You will need to bring this code to your nursery manager along with your National Insurance Number and Child’s DOB. We will then verify the code with the local authority and then we can secure your 30 hours.

If you are increasing days because of the free hours, then we’ll be able to get your contract amendment form signed and sessions confirmed for you.

Please remember, just because you have been successful online with the HMRC, until we have your code and validated with the local authority, we cannot guarantee your 30 hours. Until this is done on ERYC’s system they won’t pay us for your hours.

Process of applying for your 30 free hours.

  1. Parents apply online at
  2. Successful applicants are given an 11 digit code.
  3. Parents must take this code with proof of your National Insurance No. and Childs DOB to their Tiptoes nursery manager.
  4. Parents sign a consent form with Tiptoes, which allows us to share this information with the local authority.
  5. Tiptoes input this information onto the relevant local authority system.
  6. The local authority confirms the 11 digit code is valid and that Tiptoes can confirm the 30 hours for the parent.

When you apply you will see 3 dates for your eligibility. A ‘Start Date’, ‘End Date’ and ‘Grace Period Date’. You cannot start your funding whilst in your Grace Period.

Main points and answers to common questions;

  • The 30 hours are provided by the government for 38 weeks of the year (academic year). These hours can be stretched over the remaining weeks of the academic year, depending on which term you start. The academic year runs from September to August.
  • There are very limited term-time only places at each nursery. Term time only places using the full 30 hours per week are to be in blocks of 3 days.
  • Parents who are only attending days that are covered fully by funded hours will be required to sign a form allowing the nursery to change which days they attend, with notice, to enable the efficient operation of the nursery capacity. We expect this to be minimal and in exceptional circumstances.
  • The government, not Tiptoes, limit the hours that can be used during free session/days to 10 hours per day. At Tiptoes the session is 8am to 6pm. So this means you will not be able to come into the nursery between 07:30 – 08:00 on your funded days. For those parents attending funded only session we can provide a contract with parents for these 30 mins at a cost of £6 for each morning. These must be contracted and cannot be as and when used due to administration and monitoring.
  • Any unused hours cannot be used for ad-hoc sessions and funded days cannot be swapped for other days in the week, if not used.
  • If you decide to use a Monday as part of your fully funded days, we cannot provide other days to cover the loss of days caused by Bank Holidays.
  • You can still use childcare vouchers or tax free childcare payments for any fees over the 30 hours.
  • Tiptoes cannot apply for your 30 hours. We can still apply for your universal 15 hours, only with your consent, but the extended entitlement to 30 hours has to be applied for by the parent on the HMRC website.

Further help and information about our Pre-School

Curriculum – Learn more about our approach to Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design

Funding – find out how to apply for 15 and 30 hours free funding and how it can work for you.

Transition to School – Where do our children transition to Liaison meetings with primary teachers and ECAT preparation boxes.

Pre-school Myths – Five common misconceptions about pre-school

Keeping your child at Tiptoes until Primary School