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Planned maintenance to payments Due to necessary maintenance of our payments system, it will not be possible to make online or telephone payments between 6am-9am this Thursday 27 April 2017.  We apologise for the inconvenience.

Free early education for three and four year olds

All three and four year old children are entitled to free early years education.

30 hours of free childcare

From September 2017 the government plans to double free three- and four- year-old childcare to 30 hours per week for working parents.

For more information call us on 020 3373 0980.

Newham trial of the scheme

To test and evaluate how the new offer can be delivered, Newham, alongside seven other local authorities, has been to chosen to trial the scheme from September 2016.

We have been given 415 places for the trial. Some of these places will be offered to eligible parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Find out if you are eligible to take part in the trial and apply.

Our experiences will help to develop the national rollout of the scheme next year.
UPDATE: We have filled all the places on the trial - there are no more places available to be allocated
As of 16 November 2016 any new applications received will be placed on a waiting list. Parents and carers will be contacted in the event that places become available if people either choose to withdraw from the trial or if they fall out of eligibility.

What your child gets

Three and four year old children can receive 15 hours of free early education per week, 38 weeks per year.
Free places are offered as:
  • three hours per day over five days
  • five hours per day over three days
  • 15 hours spread over a week. 

Or the hours can be stretched out to meet your needs. 


When your child can start

Usually, children start early education in the term after their third birthday. 

​Birthday between Education starts​
​1 April and 31 August ​Term 1 September (autumn)
​1 September and 31 December ​Term 2 January (spring)
​1 January and 31 March ​Term 3 April (summer)

Where your child can get free early education

Free early education and childcare can be at:
All childcare providers must be registered with Ofsted. You can choose a provider from either:

When to register your child for a place

Places are not given on a 'first come, first served' basis, so registering early does not mean you will definitely get a place. However you should register your child by the term before they are due to start.

If you recently moved into the borough, register your child as soon as possible.

How to register your child for a place

To register with a nursery school you need to make an appointment to see the head teacher as soon as you can. You will have to take documents with you to the appointment
To register for an early education place with an Ofsted childcare provider, academy, free school or childminder, you will also need to make an appointment. Contact the organisation directly to find out what documents you need to take to the appointment with you.

Extra funding for your childcare provider

Early years pupil premium funding could help your child's early education provider to offer learning experiences and activities which will prepare your child for starting school.

Your child could benefit from extra resources and equipment to meet their needs.

Who qualifies

Your childcare provider (nursery, childminder or school) may be entitled to claim funding for your child if you receive one of the following benefits:
  • income support
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Child Tax Credit (providing you are not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run on, paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • the guaranteed part of State Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit.
To check your eligibility against the criteria, use our online checker.
Children qualify in their own right if:
  • we have looked after them for at last one day
  • they have been adopted from care
  • they have left care through special guardianship
  • they are subject to a child arrangement order.
If you think the child qualifies under any of the criteria, email or call 020 3373 0980.

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Contact us

  • Children's Services Commissioning
    London Borough of Newham
    Newham Dockside
    1000 Dockside Road
    E16 2QU

    Email us