Get 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds at Stepping Stones

Apply now for funded spaces in September!

What are the childcare changes for 2024?

With significant changes to childcare funding taking effect in 2024, more eligible working parents across England will now be entitled to childcare support. The UK government has announced that from September 2024, all eligible working parents can access 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be offering funded places for working families here at Stepping Stones.

The current offering has meant that families who have children aged between 9 months and 2 year olds are not entitled for any childcare funding. However, the introduction of this new offer means the 15 hours of free childcare for 9 month olds will start immediately after maternity or paternity leave ends, giving even more working families access to this crucial funding and allowing parents to go back to work.

Don’t delay, apply for your child’s space and claim your free childcare for 9 month olds with Stepping Stones today!

Depending on your childcare provider, you can use your 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds over 38 weeks of the year, or spread the funding throughout the year. If you’d like to discuss your options at Stepping Stones, be sure to contact us today.

From September 2025, all eligible working families with children aged 9 months and over will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare funding per week, and the UK government plans to introduce these new childcare support offerings in phases to ensure providers can meet the needs of more working parents across England.

Apply for the child’s space today and don’t miss out on claiming your 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds at Stepping Stones!

You might be wondering who is eligible for the new childcare changes in 2024 and how you can apply for this funding. Keep reading as we answer these important questions below.

What is the eligibility criteria for ‘working families’?

The eligibility criteria for 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds is all about how much you earn, not the amount of hours you work. It applies to parents or carers in dual-parent households, as well as single parents or carers in a lone-parent household. Each parent must:

  • Earn more than the equivalent of 16 hours on the national living wage or minimum wage per week – so for example, if you were 23 or older, you earn over £180 a week 
  • There is a max cap, which is if you earn more than £100,000 per year (this applies to each working parent or carer in a household)

Apprentices will also be eligible, so long as you earn the equivalent of 16 hours on the apprentice minimum wage. Self-employed workers and zero-hour contract workers will also be eligible, if you also expect to meet the average earning criteria over the next three months.

If you’re unsure you’re eligible for the new childcare support, you can check online.

How do I apply for the new childcare support?

Working families can apply for the new childcare funding by completing a simple online form on the website. Before you get started, ensure you have the follow information to hand:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • National Insurance number
  • Whether you expect to meet the income requirements over the next 3 months
  • Whether you’re in receipt of any benefits

If you are eligible and you’ve successfully completed the form, you’ll be given an 11-digit code. You’ll need to provide this code to your childcare provider, like Stepping Stones, when applying for your child’s space. Your provider will also need your national insurance number and your child’s birth certificate.

Apply for funded spaces in September at Stepping Stones today

At Stepping Stones, our purpose-built facility consists of well-equipped nursery rooms, playrooms and four outdoor spaces. We have been providing childcare for families for over two decades and our fully-trained team take a tailored approach to every child to ensure they learn and grow successfully.

If you’re ready to claim your 15 hours free childcare for 9 month olds, complete the above form today to begin the process of applying for your child’s funded space in September!


for funded spaces in September 2024!