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 2 year olds can get free childcare if you live I 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)

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

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


Your 2-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 2-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 here

Please note that once you have created a Citizens Account you will need to add your 2 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.

Childcare providers available for the Early Learning for two year olds

If you prefer you can contact the Family Information Service on 0121 569 4914 or via email for a list of the childcare providers or an application pack.

How to make a complaint

How to 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.