Childcare funding

Free childcare for two-year-olds

If you have a two-year-old and are on a low household income from work or benefits, your two-year-old child may be able to get a free nursery/childcare place for 15 hours a week, 38 weeks of the year (term-time).

Your two-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, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • Child tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit 
  • 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:

If you are a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits

Your 2-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act (GOV.UK) and have either:

  • Claimed asylum (GOV.UK) in the UK and are waiting for a decision (known as ‘part 6’)
  • Been refused asylum in the UK (known as ‘section 4’).

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 any of the following:

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.

How to apply