Free Nursery Places

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.

When you can start claiming

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

CHILDS 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

Example: Your child was born on 15 February 2013. You can get free childcare when the next term starts after 1 April 2016.

Eligibility

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:

  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

If you are interested in a free nursery place pop into Reception to see if you are eligible. Alternatively, you can check entitlement yourself using the link below:

Free 2 Year Old Early Years Entitlement Check