Childcare costs

Children and families latest

Coronavirus (COVID 19) – see parent, childcare account below on taking your child to childcare

To keep your 30 hours place or tax-free childcare, every 3 months check your details are up to date.

Visit the website: childcare account (

30 hours funded childcare for foster children

Some children in foster care may receive up to 30 hours funded childcare.

You first need approval from the foster child’s social worker.

The social worker will record the decision to apply on the child’s care plan.

Children in foster care are already entitled to the universal 15 hours.

Children in foster care aged 3 or 4 years old will be able to receive 30 hours funded childcare if accessing the extended hours is consistent with the child’s care plan, and:

  • a single foster carer is working outside of fostering
  • one of a couple fostering works outside of fostering and the other carer receives benefits
  • a couple are fostering and both carers are working outside of fostering

The supervising social worker and social worker will sign the application form.

If your application is successful, you will get your eligibility code from:
East Sussex Early Years Funding Team.

If you need more help contact the Early Years Funding team at: EYEE.

Timescales for applying

Foster carers can apply up to 16 weeks before their foster child turns three.

They can claim 30 hours from the funding period after their foster child turns three. The funding periods start on

  • 1st September
  • 1st January and
  • 1st April

Apply for 30 hours funded childcare for a foster child

Complete the: 30 hours for foster children application form [239.0 KB] [doc], to apply

If your application is successful

If the application is successful, the Early Years funding team will:

  • generate an 11-digit code
  • email code to the foster carer
  • inform the child’s social worker

The foster carer gives the code to an early years provider of their choice and agrees a 30-hour place. (Some early years providers may charge for consumables/services as part of a funded place).

The early years provider will use the code to receive payment from the Early Years Funding team.


Foster carers must reconfirm their eligibility every three months. The child’s social worker will need to confirm the:

  • placement for the child is still on-going
  • accessing the 30 hours is still consistent with the child’s care plan
  • foster carer/s are still in paid work outside their role as a foster carer (evidence provided)

You must reconfirm the foster child’s place before the end of the three-month period. If you do not the child may no longer be eligible for 30 hours childcare.

Covid-19 - taking your child to childcare

The professional association for childcare and early years (PACEY) has a page of coronavirus (COVID 19) parent information on taking your child to childcare.