Free early education for two year olds

Young children aged two (or just turned three) may be eligible to have 15 hours of free early learning and childcare each week (for 38 weeks of the year) with a preschool, day nursery or childminder

Is my child entitled to a place?

Your 2-year-old can get free early education and 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 - if you and your partner have a combined income from work of less than £15,400 a year after tax
  • tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:

  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

If you're eligible the free early education and childcare:

  • must be with an approved childcare provider
  • starts from the term after your child’s 2nd birthday

Further information

Please see what you need to know about free childcare for more information. 

Complaints procedure

We have a complaints procedure for anyone who is concerned that their child has, in some way, been unable to access their free entitlement.