Your child will qualify for a free place if you get:
- Income support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- The guaranteed part of State Pension Credit
- Tax Credit and you have an annual household income of under £16,190 before tax
- Universal credit and you have an annual income of less than £15,400 after tax
- Support through 'part 6' under the Immigration and Asylum Act
> To check your eligibility against the above criteria, use our online checker.
The online check will return an immediate result via email. If you are eligible you will be emailed an eligibility certificate. Print it out and take it to your chosen childcare provider.
Children qualify in their own right if:
- they are looked after by a local council
- they have a child protection plan
- they get disability living allowance
- they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN)
- they have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan
- they left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order
> If you think the child qualifies in their own right, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3373 0980 and we can confirm what evidence we need to assess your claim.
If you are a non-UK 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:
- been refused asylum in the UK (known as ‘section 4’). Failed asylum seekers supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
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:
- ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ and have leave to remain on family or private life grounds under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
'No Recourse to Public Funds' and are in receipt of support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989
- the right to live in the UK because you’re the main carer of a child who is a British citizen (known as a ‘Zambrano Carer’)
> If you think you qualify under any of this criteria, email email@example.com or call 020 3373 0980 and we can confirm what evidence we need to assess your claim.
What your child gets
Your child can receive 15 hours of free early education per week, 38 weeks per year. Free places are offered as:
- three hours per day over five days
- five hours per day over three days
- 15 hours spread over the week
- or the hours can be stretched out to meet your needs.
When your child can start
If your two year old qualifies for free early education, they will usually start in the term after their second birthday.
If we have not contacted you, but you think your child is eligible, call us on 020 3373 0980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where your child can get free early education
Free early education and childcare can be at:
- all types of nurseries and nursery classes
- playgroups and pre-schools
The provider must be registered with Ofsted and included on our approved list of early learning providers for two year olds.
All our approved childcare providers are inclusive settings. If your child has additional needs you can be confident that they will receive the necessary care and support, whether you decide to take up a place with a childminder, with a private or independent nursery, with a maintained nursery school or with a school nursery.
For more information you can email us on email@example.com or call us on 020 3373 0980.
Watch our short film about free early education for two year olds
Click here to play the video.