Free childcare places for eligible 2 year olds

Am I eligible?


How will I know if I am eligible to receive 15 hours free childcare for my two year old?

You can claim a free place for your child if you are in receipt of one or more of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • Have an annual household income under £16,190 before tax and claim Child Tax Credit and / or Working Tax Credit
  • Have an annual household income of £15,400 after tax and claim Universal Credit
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Children are also entitled to a place if:

  • Your child is looked after by the local council
  • Your child has an education, health and care plan (ECHP)
  • Your family is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for the child
  • A child who has left care through special guardianship order, child arrangement order or adoption order

When should I apply to see if my child is eligible?

If your child's 2nd birthday is on or between: You can see if your eligible from:
1 January - 31 March  beginning of January
1 April - 31 August  beginning of April
1 September - 31 December  beginning of September

When can my child start if they are eligible?

Your child's eligibility code will be valid from the term after their 2nd birthday.

If your child's 2nd birthday is on or between: He/she will be entitled to their free place from (the term after the child's 2nd birthday):
1 January - 31 March Summer term (April onwards)
1 April - 31 August Autumn term (September onwards)
1 September - 31 December Spring term (January onwards)

How do I apply to see if my child is eligible?

There are three ways to apply, you can:

1. Complete the following online application form: 

2. Email Early Education Funding:
3. Telephone the Early Education Funding Team on: Telephone: 01302 862111

How will I know if my child is eligible for a place?

  • Once your application has been processed you will receive a letter confirming whether your child is eligible and explaining what you need to do to take up the offer. You will need to take this letter to your chosen childcare provider as proof of your eligibility. 
  • Your eligibility letter is styled like the images at the top of this page. Please ensure you read the steps 'it's easy as 1, 2, free'.

What do I need to do once I have received my eligibility letter?

  • You need to decide which funded childcare provider you would like your child to go to and call them to see if they have availability (a list of funded childcare providers is sent to you with your eligibility letter)
  • You then need to take your eligibility letter to your chosen childcare provider so they can use your eligibility code to claim the funding for your child.

What happens if my circumstances change?

  • If your child has already been awarded the funding, this will not be taken away from them, even if your circumstances change. Your child will be able to continue to access the funding until the term after their 3rd birthday, when they will then be eligible for the universal 15 hours. 
  • If your child isn’t eligible for the funding and your circumstances have changed, you can apply to see if you are now eligible using the methods stated in the ‘How do I apply to see if my child is eligible?’ section above.

 What if I don't know which childcare I want to use?

  • You can see what providers are available by clicking on the following link childcare and schools search
  • You can contact the Families Information Service to have providers sent via email on - all queries will be responded to within three working days

Please like our Facebook page


Useful links:

Last updated: 21 March 2019 12:20:31