Childcare funding

Free childcare for two-year-olds

If you are a parent/carer on a low income or unemployed, your two-year-old may be eligible for up to 15 hours per week (38 weeks a year) of free early education and childcare.


You will be eligible if you live in the borough of Ealing and meet any of the following criteria:

  • In receipt of Income support (IS) or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA)
  • In receipt of an income-related employment and support allowance
  • You receive support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Your family receives Working Tax Credits and has an annual gross income of no more than £16,190 per year
  • In receipt of guarantee element of State Pension Credit

You may also be able to access a place if any of the following applies to your child:

  • been in care and/or adopted
  • have a current statement of SEN or an education, health and care plan
  • receive Disability Living Allowance

When does my two-year child become eligible?
Eligible children are entitled to receive the free 15 hours from the start of term following their second birthday. Parents/carers can only apply once the child is two. Applications cannot be assessed before the child’s second birthday.

Child born between Eligible for free early education/childcare from
1 September – 31 December Spring term (January)
1 January - 31 March Summer term (April)
1 April - 31 August  Autumn term (September) 

How to apply

What happens after I apply?
If you are eligible you will receive a letter confirming the dates your child can access this childcare together with a list of childcare providers. Childcare providers must be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. You can then take the letter together with your child’s ID (birth certificate or passport) to the chosen nursery or childminder to secure your place.
Where can my child access the free early entitlement?
The Family Information Service can provide a list of approved nursery provides and childminders. The places are subject to availability.