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Free childcare and education for 2 to 4 Year olds

Early Years Funding 

All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.

Some 2-year-olds are also eligible.

You can get free education and childcare for children in ScotlandWalesand Northern Ireland.

3 & 4 year funding 

When you can start claiming

The date you can start claiming depends on your child’s birthday.

Child’s birthday:                      When you can claim:

1 January to 31 March              The beginning of term on or after 1 April

1 April to 31 August                 The beginning of term on or after 1 September

1 September to 31 December    The beginning of term on or after 1 January

For example - Your child was born on 15 February 2015. You can get free childcare when the next term starts after 1 April 2018.


The free early education and childcare must be with an approved childcare provider.

It stops once your child starts reception class in a state school.

Eligibility for 2-year-olds

Your 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if you get one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • 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:


Who to contact

Free childcare for two-year-olds

Where to go

Bayard Place
Get directions to PE1 1FB

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