Free childcare for 2 year olds
Parents and carers eligibility checker
A Government funded 2 year old place is available for families in England, receiving some forms of support. Once eligibility is confirmed eligibility will remain until school age even if a families circumstances change.
Eligible 2 year old children will receive;
- 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
- A total of 570 hours per year, which you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider
- Some providers will allow you to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week
Funded places can be accessed as below;
- Children born in the period 1 January to 31 March: the start of term beginning on or following 1 April after the child’s birthday;
- Children born in the period 1 April to 31 August: the start of term beginning on or following 1September after the child’s birthday;
- Children born in the period 1 September to 31 December: the start of term beginning on or following 1 January after the child’s birthday.
Children can start a funded place from the first day of term until the below headcount date;
- Autumn census - first Thursday in October
- Spring census - third Thursday in January
- Summer census - third Thursday in May
If a child leaves a funded place before the headcount date or starts after the above headcount date the provider may charge the family for the agreed funded hours.
Guidance from the gov.uk website
Your 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Universal Credit - if you and your partner have a combined income from work of £15,400 or less a year, after tax
- tax credits and you have an income of £16,190 or less a year, before tax
- the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
- the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:
- they’re looked after by a local council
- they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- they get Disability Living Allowance
- they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
- Children of Zambrano Carers
- Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on the grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
- Children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 – ‘the 1999 Act’).
This guidance from the gov.uk website was current at the time of publishing please refer to the gov.uk website for any updates.