Free early education for 2 year olds
We are offering eligible 2 year olds free early education and care places for 15 hours a week during school term time. Some early education providers offer free hours in the school holidays, for example children could access 11 hours each week for 51 weeks of the year.
Is my child entitled to a free place?
You can claim a free place for your child if you receive one or more of the following:
- Children looked after by the Local Authority
- Children who have left care through special guardianship, adoption or a residence order
- Children who are eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) e.g. families whose income is below £16,190 and their parents are in receipt of any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support allowance
- The guaranteed element of the State Pension Credit
- Child Tax credit and Working Tax credit provided the annual household income does not exceed £16,190
- Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
- Children who have a current Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
- Children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance ( DLA)
- Universal Credit (to be rolled out in May 2018)
- From 1 April 2018, families in receipt of Universal Credit will be eligible for the offer providing their net income is below £15,400
When is my child entitled to start their free place?
- If your child's 2nd birthday falls between 1 January and 31 March, they will be entitled to a free place from the start of the summer term (after Easter)
- If your child's 2nd birthday falls between 1 April and 31 August, they will be entitled to a free place from the start of the autumn term (early September)
- If your child's 2nd birthday falls between 1 September and 31 December, they will be entitled to a free place from the start of the spring term (early January)
Where can my child get free early education?
What happens next?
- If you are eligible, you will be contacted by the family information service who will oversee the placement with one of the approved childcare providers
Universal Credit eligibility
The Universal Credit eligibility criteria for the two-year-old offer and Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) are currently subject to consultation.
Help paying for childcare
You can now find a straightforward explanation of all government childcare support on the new Childcare Choices website:
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