Display Options

A A A

Do you have a 2 year old?

From September 2014 low income families that are free school meal eligible and those in receipt of working tax credit, earning no more than £16,190 annually, can receive a free early learning placewith a nursery or child minder. Families will need to agree with the setting how they can use their hours.

All children under five years old need good quality care as they develop and learn.We know that high quality early learning provides children with a firm foundation for future achievement in life. Some families with two year olds meeting the eligibility criteria may be entitled for a free early learning place. Early learning gives children the best start in life. Through learning and playing with other children in a quality environment, they'll have a head start when they begin school.

What is the free early learning offer for two year olds?

The two year old free early learning entitlement is part of the Government's agenda to support and improve outcomes for children through early access to high quality early provision. Eligible children are entitled to receive up to 15 hours of free, high quality early learning and childcare per week which is 570 hours per year. Children can take up places the term after their second birthday.

Who is eligible for a two year old place?

Families that are free school meal eligible, with an annual household income below £16,190 and who are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

o Income support
o Income support income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
o Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
o Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
o The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
o Child Tax Credit, and/or Working Tax Credit and have an annual household income below £16,190
o The Working Tax Credit 4-week runs on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
o Universal Credit
Or
o Your child has a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan
o Your child has Disability Living Allowance
o A child has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order

Children moving to England from other countries are entitled to early learning on the same basis as any other child, regardless of whether they have British citizenship.

When can my child have a place?   
  A child born between 
 
Is eligible from
 
1 September and 31 December
1 January
1 January and 31 March
 
1 April
 
1 April and 31 August 
 
1 September
 

Choosing a provider?

The free place can be offered by any nursery or childminder judged outstanding or good by Ofsted or those who are newly registered and have not been Ofsted inspected as yet.
 
There are no other costs but you will need to provide wipes, nappies and a change of clothes and you can provide your child with a packed lunch if you do not wish to purchase a meal from your childcare provider.
 
You may find it helpful to visit some providers, to help you decide where is best for your child. Recommendations from other parents can be helpful, but remember that each child is different, and what suits someone else's child may not be right for yours. 
 

All registered childcare providers are inspected every few years by Ofsted, who assess how well they are doing. You can see all the reports on the Ofsted website www.reports.ofsted.gov.uk or you can ask the provider to show you their most recent report.

We cannot guarantee that your chosen provider will have spaces available, or can provide the hours that you need, but you should find something to suit you within your local area.

You can download a handy fact sheet on what to look for in a childcare provider (PDF, 170KB) - published by the Family and Childcare Trust.

If you need any support to identify the most suitable place for your child, please contact your local children's centre or FIS on 020 7926 9558. You can find a list of children's centres by clicking on the following link: Children's Centres

Information for parents and carers and online application form please click here

Information for childcare providers please click here

Who is eligible for a two year old place?

Families that are free school meal eligible, with an annual household income below £16,190 and who are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income support

     

  • 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

     

     

  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

     

     

  • Child Tax Credit, and/or Working Tax Credit and have an annual household income below £16,190

     

  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week runs on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Or

  • Your child has a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan

     

  • Your child has Disability Living Allowance

     

     

  • A child has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order