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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 Early Learning for children aged two, you must be getting one or more of the following benefits or credits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit (from April 2005)
  • Universal Credit - if you and your partner have a combined income from work of less than £15,400 a year after tax
  • Child Tax Credit where the household income is no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit where the household income is no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 4 week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Or your child must

  • Be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
  • Have a current statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care plan
  • Have left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order
  • Be a looked after child (eg, foster child)

If you are not in receipt of one of the above benefits/credits 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

If you believe your child is eligible, please complete the 2 year old funding application form online to find out if your child is eligible for the 2 year old funding and to check your application. 

If you prefer you can contact the Family Information Service on 0121 569 4914 or via email at: family_information@sandwell.gov.uk for an application pack.

If you have applied previously and require your funding letter, please call 0121 569 4914

Please note that by applying for a free childcare place you are agreeing for the local authority to check your eligility using the Eligbility Checking System (EMS) via Capita EY Portal.

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 family_information@sandwell.gov.uk

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

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