Play, learn and grow with a funded place for 3 and 4-year-olds

Play, learn and grow with a funded place for 3 and 4-year-olds

Play, learn and grow

We all want our children to grow up to be healthy, happy and well-adjusted to the world around them and whatever your situation, balancing family life in this modern world can be tough.

Your child can play, learn and grow in a fun, friendly, safe environment with a funded place for 3 and 4-year-olds.

All 3 and 4-year-old children in Lancashire are entitled to up to 15 hours per week (570 hours per year) at a local nursery, pre-school or with a childminder, funded by the government. For most working families this can rise to 30 hours per week (1140 hours per year). Check your eligibility for 30 hours funded childcare.


Join the thousands of parents in Lancashire who already have a funded place for their 3 and 4-year-olds. Our Lancashire nurseries and childminders support children to play, learn and grow helping them to:

  • Make new friends and share
  • Build their confidence
  • Learn and develop

Family are the most important people in a child’s early life, but your local nursery staff or childminder can offer great support and will be happy to assist you with your child’s early learning and development. They are qualified, caring professionals and their tips on the things that you can do at home can help your child come on in leaps and bounds.

Play, learn and grow 

Play icon showing two children playing


Learn and develop through play. Taking up your funded hours with a nursery or childminder can provide lots of opportunities for your child to be active.

From great play areas to walks in the park, your little one will be ready for bedtime at the end of a tiring day of fun and play!

Learn icon


Singing, rhyming and reading and being read to with friends are just some of the fun activities used by nursery staff and childminders to develop your child’s speaking and listening skills.

This can lead to a love of language that will help your child to be a confident reader, helping make reading and spelling easier at school. 

Grow icon


Your children will learn essential skills at nursery or with their childminder such as:

  • Going to the toilet themselves
  • Eating with a knife and fork
  • Putting on their coat, fastening it, taking it off and hanging it up.

This will encourage them to become more independent and will make the transition to school easier. 

When to apply

If you're eligible, you can start claiming a funded place from the term after your child's 3rd birthday. The table below shows when you can access a place and when to apply so your child can start as soon as they are eligible. 


Childs birthday When you can access a place When you can apply from
1 April – 31 August 1 September (autumn term) 1 April
1 September – 31 December 1 January (spring term) 1 September
1 Jan – 31 March 1 April (summer term) 1 January

For further advice and to find out more about hours and restrictions, check out our guide.

Read our 3 and 4-year old funded places guide

Lancashire nurseries

You can be confident your child will be looked after in a safe, secure environment as every nursery and childminder looking after children under the age of eight must be registered with Ofsted. Ofsted carries out inspections on a regular basis to see that their standards are being met and children are safe.

In Lancashire almost all the nurseries and childminders are rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. You can see their latest inspection grade and report on the Ofsted website. You will also be able to arrange visits before you take up a place to make sure that you and your child are happy. 

We spoke to Eleanor Rushton, early years leader at Alston and Catholic Primary School and Nursery, about the benefits of funded places. 

Alston Lane Nursery 

Search for a nursery or childminder

Boy with painted hands

Play, learn and grow with a local nursery or childminder. Search for a funded place near you for your 3 or 4-year-old.

Search for a place

Hear from a Lancashire parent

Don't take our word for it. Hear what Katie Jenkins, mum to Jeremiah had to say about using a funded place at her local nursery.

Katie's story

Family Information Service

Family Information Service: Play, learn, grow

Our Family Information Service are here to help you and your family.

From finding the right childcare to advice on funded places, they're ready to answer your questions.

Contact the Family Information Service