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Free funded childcare places for two-year-olds | Sandwell Council

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Free funded childcare places for two-year-olds

Parents or carers of two-year-olds who meet the criteria (below) can apply for a Free Early Learning place to fund childcare sessions for 15 hours per week flexibly, 38 weeks of the year from the term after their second birthday.

Flexible offer:

Free childcare places can be taken flexibly between 7am and 7pm however the following applies:

  • Maximum of 10 hours in one day
  • Minimum of 2.5 hours in one day
  • No more than 15 hours over 2 days
  • Where sessional care is offered these can be:
  • 5 hours per day over 3 days
  • 3 hours per day over 5 days
A child born in the period  Will become eligible for a free place 
1 April - 31 August Start of the Autumn term following child's 2nd birthday
1 September - 31 December Start of the Spring term following child's 2nd birthday
1 January - 31 March Start of the Summer term following child's 2nd birthday

 * based on a three-term school year

Am I eligible for a free place?

Your two-year-old can get free 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, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Two-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:

If you're a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits

 Your two-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and have either:

  • claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision (known as 'part 6')
  • been refused asylum in the UK (known as 'section 4')

A two-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have either:

If you are not in receipt of one of the above you will not be eligible to apply.

Apply for a Free Early Learning place

Please note that once you have created a Citizen's Account you will need to add your two-year-old child in order to continue with your application. 

If eligible you will be given a code, please take this code to your chosen provider.

If you have applied previously and require your funding letter or need help with your application, please call 0121 569 4914.

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You can make a complaint if you are not satisfied that your child/children has received their free place or with any aspect of the way you have received it.

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