Funding for 3 and 4 year olds

Shaping Futures offers both 15 hours and 30 hours free government places for children 3 and 4 years of age.

15 hours per week

Shaping Futures is registered with Nottinghamshire County Council to provide 15 hours per week of Early Years Free Entitlement for 3 and 4 year old children. The 15 hours funding are the universal hours which all children are automatic eligible to receive the term after their 3rd birthday. You do not need to apply for these hours, simply contact the nursery and they will inform you what identification is required, complete a funding form with you and register your child with the nursery.

30 hours per week (15 universal and 15 extended)

An additional 15 hours, the extended hours funding is available to those parents who are working and met the government criteria, together with the universal hours this provides the 30 hours funding per week. You will need to apply for the extended 15 hours and if successful you will receive a code confirming your eligibility which the nursery will need to add to their online portal before a place can be secured.

To see if your family are eligible to claim the extended hours totalling 30 hours, please visit the government’s eligibility checker which is now live at Or


  • They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.
  • This equates to £120 a week (or c.£6,000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week (or c.£5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old and £56 a week for apprentices in their first year.
  • This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.
  • The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work.
  • Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.
  • Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.
  • Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (i.e. they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
  • If one or both parents is a non-EEA national, the parent applying must have recourse to public funds

Please follow the below link to ensure you meet the criteria:

A parent will not meet the criteria when:

  • Either parent has an income of more than £100,000
  • If one or both parents is a non-EEA national and the parent applying does not have recourse to public funds