Does your family live on a low income or claim income based benefits?
Does your 2 year old have additional needs or has left care?
If yes, you may be entitled to claim up to 15 hours per week of free early education during term time or up to 11 hours per week throughout the year.
Children will be given the opportunity to experience high quality early years education with the support of a trained, high quality registered childminder, nursery or pre-school.
The aim of the programme is to enable your child to receive high quality early education that will help them to be ready for school.
This entitlement is available in the term after an eligible child’s 2nd birthday.
You should be able to keep your child at your preferred provider until they can access a school place, normally in the September after their 3rd birthday.
Your entitlement will continue to be free regardless of whether your family’s financial circumstances change.
You can apply when your child is 24 months old.
Any applications for children under 24 months old will not be processed.
Child’s second birthday
Entitled to their free place
|Between 1 January and 31 March||From the start of summer term in April||From January|
|Between 1 April and 31 August||From the start of the autumn term in September||From April|
|Between 1 September and 31 December||From the start of the spring term in January||From September|
You can apply for free early education for your 2 year old via our online application form:
The details you provide will be used to check if your child is eligible for a free place.
This information will also be used to register your family with your local children’s centre (if you are not already registered) to ensure you are kept informed of local services that can benefit your family.
It can take a few weeks to process applications.
If your application has been successful, it will be placed into a central waiting list and you will be contacted once a placement becomes available.