Image showing three young girls playing game, Connect Four with a guardian and baby sat on the settee directly behind.

Monday 19th August 2019

DCYP shares that parents should be aware that in overseas locations the Ministry of Defence funds the free childcare entitlement, and prior to being posted back to the UK.

Parents should visit GOV.UK to find  out what their entitlement will be and what they need to do to apply. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer differing entitlements and the application process may vary.

Moving to England

Parents can apply for a 30 hours code from when their child is aged two years and 36 weeks. Children qualify from the term following their third birthday.

Parents can apply outside of these recommended dates, but they might not receive their code in time. Parents must have a valid code by the end of the month before a new term starts. 30 hours codes are not valid overseas.

When your child turns 3When they can get 30 hrs fromRecommended time toapply
1 Sep to 31 Dec 1 Jan 15 Oct to 30 Nov
1 Jan to 31 Mar 1 Apr 15 Jan to 28 Feb
1 Apr to 31 Aug 1 Sept 15 Jun to 31 Jul

Moving to Scotland

The Scottish Government has pledged to increase paid-for nursery places from the current 16 hours to 30 hours for children aged three and four, and eligible two-year-olds, by August 2020. Please visit the Scottish government pages for the latest information.

Moving to Wales

Wales provides 30 hours a week of free early education and childcare for working parents of children aged three and four years for 48 weeks of the year. Applications are dealt with directly by each Local Authority’s Family Information Service (FIS) where the parents reside.

Moving to Northern Ireland

Parents of children aged three and four years can apply to receive 12.5 hours per week of free, also known as funded, preschool education. This allocation can only be taken over 2.5 hours per day, five days a week, during term time. Places are provided by nursery schools, primary schools with nursery units and some voluntary and private providers.

The places cannot be provided by childminders. Please visit for further information.

30 hours free childcare DIN refers and can be accessed via the Defence Intranet.

Downloadable visual poster of the DCYP information - working of which is within this whole news story.


The RAF FF’s website has more information around education and childcare, as well as a policy advisor so if you can’t find what you are looking for, contact Louise Briggs.

Story image: ©Crown Copyright (SAC K Waterson)

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