Is your child two?
Your two year old could get 15 hours a week of free childcare, from the term after they turn two, if you receive any of these benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Income support
- Income based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance (if you are unable to work due to illness or disability)
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit and earn £16,190 or less per year
- Working Tax Credit and earn £16,190 or less per year
- The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
Or the child:
- Is a looked after child
A "looked after child" is a child who is (a) in the care of a local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services function.
- Has an adoption, residence order or special guardianship
Children who have left care but are not able to return home (through adoption orders, residence orders or special guardianship).
- Has a Special Educational Need (SEN)
Has a current statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care plan.
- Has a disability
Is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
- Is a child of a Zambrano carer
A Zambrano Carer is the primary carer of a British citizen child, but is not a British citizen themselves. Requiring the carer to leave the UK would mean the child would be unable to live in the United Kingdom.
Although Zambrano Carers have no recourse to public funds, they are allowed to work in order to support the child. The children of Zambrano Carers will be eligible for a free place if their parents or carers meet similar low level income requirements to others eligible to receive the two year old entitlement (eg a net income threshold of £15,400).
- Is from a family with no recourse to public funds but has a right to remain in the UK
Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
These families are entitled to work and so to be eligible for a free place the parents or carers must also meet the low level income requirements of the two year old entitlement (eg a net income threshold of £15,400).
- Is from a family of a subset of failed asylum seekers
Children whose families receive support under section 4 of the 1999 Act are eligible for two year old funding because they are temporarily unable to leave the UK and would otherwise be destitute. These families therefore satisfy the low income requirements to be eligible for the entitlement.
Good for your child
Children learn through play. Having a free place in an exciting, enjoyable and secure environment could give your two year old the best possible start in life.
That’s 15 hours a week of playing, painting, reading, cooking, climbing, singing, dancing, dressing up, running around, building, gardening, or whatever they like doing. But most of all, your child is learning!
Good for you
That’s also 15 hours a week for you – giving you the chance to work, take up some training, education or studying. You can get advice and support through your local children’s centre.
The date you can claim your free place will depend on when your child’s birthday is.
||When you can claim|
|1 January - 31 March
||The beginning of term on or after 1 April|
|1 April - 31 August
||The beginning of term on or after 1 September|
|1 September - 31 December
||The beginning of term on or after 1 January|
Want to find out more?
To find out more about childcare in your area and to see if your two year old child can get a free place, speak to the Luton Family Information Service using the contact details below.
Apply online for two year old funding
Visit or call your local children’s centre, pre-school, nursery or childminder to find out what they offer.
Visit the GOV.UK
for further information on free early education
Early education providers are regulated and inspected by Ofsted. You can find out more about their inspections and read their inspection report by visiting www.ofsted.gov.uk