Childcare Reforms Expansion: upcoming changes to accessing early years and childcare places

girl on tricycle

The Department for Education (DfE) Childcare Reforms Expansion has been designed to better help parents and carers manage childcare alongside their work responsibilities. These changes are part of the government's ongoing commitment to support families and enable parents to return to or remain in the workforce, while ensuring their children receive the care they need.  

Starting April 2024, eligible working parents of two year old children will be able to access funded childcare as part of the National Childcare Reforms Expansion roll out to support more parents and carers across Essex.  

What’s new? 

Expansions to the current Funded Early Education Entitlement

From April 2024 

If you are a working parent, you will be eligible for up to 15 hours of funded childcare per week, over 38 weeks, starting from the term after your child’s second birthday. 

From September 2024 

The support extends further, with up to 15 hours of funded childcare per week, over 38 weeks, available from the term following your child turning nine months old. 

From September 2025 

Eligible working parents will be entitled to up to 30 hours of funded childcare per week, over 38 weeks, starting from the term after their child reaches nine months of age. 

To check your eligibility, please visit the UK government’s dedicated childcare support page

Wraparound childcare for parents and carers of primary school-aged children 

From September 2024, the national Wraparound childcare programme will commence with the ambition that by September 2026 most working parents will be able to access wraparound childcare that is either on their school site or within the local community. This wraparound childcare offer will be available during term time for parents with primary school-aged children. 

What does this mean for you? 

Wraparound care hours  

During term time, parents of primary school-aged children can pay for their child to access childcare from 8am to 6pm. This includes breakfast clubs and after-school care. 


These services can be offered by schools or private, voluntary, and independent (PVI) providers like childminders, out of school and early years settings. 


Wraparound care can take place either on school premises or at another suitable location within the local area. 

For more information and to find a Wraparound provider near you, please visit: