THE deadline for Wirral parents to apply for childcare starting in April is approaching.

Working parents looking to access their funded childcare hours from April, will need to apply for an eligibility code before the deadline on March 31 2024. 

If you’re a working parent of a pre-school age child or children, childcare support can help to balance working and being a parent, while helping to save money on childcare costs. (You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.)

Once parents have received their eligibility code, they will need to share it with their childcare provider before the term starts for them to check the code is valid and provide the place. The funding covers up to 10 hours a day at two sites between 6am and 8pm.

Eligibility needs to be reconfirmed every three months to continue accessing the funded hours.

From April 1, eligible working parents whose children will be two or older by the August 31, can apply to receive 15 hours childcare starting from September 2024.  

If you're the parent or carer of a two year old and don’t work but receive certain benefits you could also be eligible for 15 hours of childcare or early education for 38 weeks. Further information is available on

Who can apply?

To be awarded funding, all parents in the household must work and earn a minimum of £167.00 per week each but less than £100,000 per year each and the child must fall into the right age group. 

  • If your child is two years old, you may be able to get 15 hours free childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year (during school term time). 
  • If your child is three to four years old, you may be able to get 30 hours free childcare per week for 38 weeks of the year (during school term time). 

The childcare:

  • must be with an approved childcare provider that accepts childcare funding, this could be a childminder, day nursery, pre-school or school.
  • stops when your child starts in reception class (or reaches compulsory school age, if later)

How to apply 

Families can apply via the Childcare Choices website. Here you can find information on all the existing childcare offers in one place, so parents can get the help that fits their family.  


Foster carers can also apply for their foster children, by requesting an application form from Foster parents must be working as well as being a foster carer and the child’s social worker must approve that it’s in line with the child’s plan to attend an early years provider.  

Full details on eligibility, how to apply for funding and how to find a childcare provider are available on the Wirral Council website

From September, 15 hours childcare is extending to eligible working parents in England with a child between nine and 23 months old.