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Free early learning for 2-year-olds

If you have a two-year-old and are on a low household income, you may be entitled to receive 15 hours free childcare a week (total 570 hours a year), 38 weeks of the year. 

If you meet the qualifying criteria below, your child will become eligible from the term after their second birthday.

A child born between:

Is eligible from:

1 January - 31 March

1 April - Summer Term

1 April - 31 August

1 September - Autumn Term

1 September - 31 December

1 January - Spring Term

Who is eligible?

Two-year-olds can get free childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefit:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Two-year-olds are also eligible for 15 hours of free early years provision if they meet one of the following:

  • are looked after by a local authority
  • have a statement of Special Education Needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • get Disability Living Allowance
  • have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

If you’re a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits.

If your immigration status says you have ‘no recourse to public funds’, you may still get free childcare for your 2-year-old. You must live in England and your household income must be no more than:

  • £26,500 for families outside of London with one child
  • £34,500 for families within London with one child
  • £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
  • £38,600 for families within London with two or more children

You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.

Click here to go to the parent portal to check if you qualify and make an application

H&F will manage any data submitted when you apply for free early learning for 2 year olds. Please see the H&F privacy policy here.

For more information please contact the Early Years Funding Officer: 

For more information see Help paying for childcare: Free education and childcare for 2-year-olds - GOV.UK


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