How to apply for 30 hours free childcare Complete these 2 simple steps to apply for your 30 hour free childcare place. Step 1 – get your eligibility code Apply for your 30 hours eligibility code using the government’s childcare service. If you are eligible, you will be provided with an 11 digit code. There is a deadline for obtaining your eligibility code depending on which term you want the funding to start: 31 March for funding starting in April (summer term) 31 August for funding starting in September (autumn term) 31 December for funding starting in January (spring term) You need to reconfirm your eligibility every 3 months. Step 2 – take the code to your provider to secure your place Take the eligibility code to your provider, along with your national insurance number and the national insurance number of your partner if you have one. Your provider will check that the code is valid and then will offer you a 30 hour place.