Applying for childcare support as a foster carer

It would be very unusual for a child in foster care to receive child care outside the foster placement for 30 hours each week. If you believe there are extenuating circumstances which would make this appropriate, please see if the below criteria is met:

Please note: if you are a foster carer who is an EEA or Swiss national you will only be eligible for 30 hours free childcare if you have EU Settled Status (EUSS) or are in the process of applying for or appealing EUSS and you meet the other eligibility criteria. You will need to provide evidence that you have either successfully received confirmation of EUSS, have applied for EUSS or are appealing a refusal for EUSS. This can be in the form of written or email confirmation from the Home Office.

If you still believe a 3, 4 year old in your foster care needs 30 hour childcare, then you must speak to the child’s social worker before applying. The social worker will then discuss this request with the Service Manager for Looked After and Vulnerable Children. If you receive consent to apply, then please complete the Application for 30 hours for a Foster Child form - (update March 2024) (PDF, 188.65 KB).

Once you have signed the form, it must be sent to the child’s social worker for counter signing by the Service Manager for Looked After and Vulnerable Children.

Once the counter signed form is returned to you, please forward it by email to Informed Families at

If your application is successful, you will get your eligibility code from Informed Families.

If you are unhappy about the decision made by the Local Authority, please seek resolution through your social worker or through the Local Authority complaints process.

This form is only for foster carers. If you are applying for your own children use, visit GOV.UK - childcare you can get help paying for.

For more information, view How to apply for 30 hours as an approved foster carer (PDF, 506.14 KB).