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.
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:
- are a looked after child (e.g. foster child)
- have a statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- get Disability Living Allowance
- have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order
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:
- leave to remain with 'no recourse to public funds' on family or private life grounds
- the right to live in the UK because you're the main carer of a British citizen (known as a 'Zambrano Carer')
If you are not in receipt of one of the above you will not be eligible to apply.
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.