What is the Childcare Offer?
The Childcare Offer is 30 hours a week of free early education and childcare for eligible working parents of three and four-year-olds for up to 48 weeks of the year. It consists of a combination of the existing Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) provision open to all three and four-year-olds and additional funded childcare for eligible families.

How many hours of childcare am I eligible for?
The offer is a maximum of 30 hours of combined education and childcare.  RCT already  offers children, from the term following their 3rd birthday, 15 hours of FPN education.  This means that during term time, eligible parents can access an additional 15 hours of childcare.

Parents are not required to access their early education entitlement in order to access the childcare element of the offer.  However their entitlement will include these hours whether they access them or not.

If your child’s school offers full time FPN, then your term time entitlement through the Childcare Offer will be taken up by the FPN provision.  You will still be eligible for 30 hours of childcare for nine weeks of the school holidays.

How many hours of education am I eligible for?
The education element of this offer is subject to normal RCT School Admissions rules.  Parents must apply for a FPN education place in a school setting.  If there is no school place available, children may be able to access their education place through a Registered Education Provider (REP).  Please note we only fund education places in REP’s for children who are 3 between September and March each year and cannot access a school place until the following September.

If you choose not to apply for a school place for your child, you will not be able to access a funded education place in a REP. 

Also, you will not receive more than 15 hours of funded childcare per week during term time if you do not take up an education place (i.e. we cannot ‘top up’ the funded childcare element of the offer to 30 hours per week during term time). 

Further details on how to apply for a FPN education place can be found at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/schooladmissions.

When will my child become eligible?

 The chart below explains when you can apply for the Childcare Offer:

If your child is born between

Eligible from

Eligible to

Applications open

1 September 2015 - 31 December 2015

7 January 2019 (start of Spring term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2020

Open

1 January 2016 - 31 March 2016

29 April 2019 (start of Summer term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2020

Open

1 April 2016 - 31 August 2016

2 September 2019 (start of Autumn term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2020

Open

1 September 2016 - 31 December 2016

6 January 2020 (start of Spring term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2021

18 November 2019

1 January 2017 - 31 March 2017

20 April 2020 (start of Summer term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2021

16 March 2020

1 April 2017 - 31 August 2017

1 September 2020 (start of Autumn term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2021

29 June 2020

1 September 2017 - 31 December 2017

4 January 2021 (start of Spring term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2022

16 November 2020

1 January 2018 - 31 March 2018

12 April 2021 (start of Summer term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2022

8 March 2021


Please note: In RCT, these admission dates remain the same each year and do not change according to when Easter falls.  

If you apply before these dates, your application will be automatically rejected and you will need to reapply after the application open date.

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