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Free Childcare for 2 year olds

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Free childcare is available for eligible 2 year olds, for 15 hours a week during term time.

Your child will have the chance to have fun, play, learn socialise and make new friends.

If your child is eligible, they can take up a place at the start of the term following their second birthday. 

Is my child eligible?

To access free childcare/early Learning for children aged two, you must be getting one or more of the following:

  • 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)

2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:

  • Are a looked after child (e.g foster child)
  • 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

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

  • claimed asylum 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 either:

If you are not in receipt of one of the above you will not be eligible to apply.

When can my child start?

The date you can start a funded place depends on your child's birthday.

   Child's Birthday

When can your child start?

    1 January to 31 March

The beginning of Summer term on or after 1 April

    1 April to 31 August

The beginning of Autumn term on or after 1 September

    1 September to 31 December

The beginning of Spring term on or after 1 January

Apply for a 2 year old free childcare place

Apply here

Please note that once you have created a Citizens Account you will need to add your 2 year old child in order to continue with your application. 

If eligible you will be given a code, please take this code to your chosen provider.

If you have applied previously and require your funding letter or need help with your application, please call 0121 569 4914.


Find a childcare provider

If you are eligible, you will be sent a confirmation letter which you can take to any of the approved childcare providers.

Allocation of your 2 year old funded place will only be considered and accepted by the provider once they have seen the 2 year old confirmation letter.  Please note funding cannot be backdated.  

Show me childcare providers who provide the 2 year old's 15 hours free childcare

Help to find a childcare place

The Brokerage Service provides help to families who are unable to find a 2 year old funded place. They will discuss your needs with you and provide advice and information on the availability of places in your area.

If you need any help finding suitable childcare then contact us and we’ll do our best to help you.

If your child has specific needs further support is available from our specialist Brokerage officers

I have lost my confirmation letter

If you have already applied but have lost your confirmation letter please call us on 0121 569 4914 or contact us and we will do our best to help you.

How to make a complaint

How to make a complaint about the free childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds or issues with the quality of the setting

We are aware that sometimes things don’t work out and that you may encounter difficulties such as:

  • applying for a free childcare funded place
  • issues with the quality of the setting
  • reconfirming their 30 hours eligibility code

So that these issues can be sorted out as quickly as possible, please see below who you will need to contact depending on your concerns:

Complaints in relation to funding issues

If you're not satisfied you have received your free entitlement in the correct way first:

  1. Talk to the setting as they'll have a complaints procedure.
  2. If it's not resolved, lodge a formal complaint through the providers complaints procedure.
  3. If you're still unhappy after exploring these options, email details of your complaint to

Complaints and issues with your 30 hours eligibility code

If you have a complaint or have any issues regarding your 30 hours eligibility code then please contact HMRC directly on 0300 123 4097

Complaints about childcare quality

If the complaint relates to quality issues, first speak to your setting. If it isn't resolved, contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1234