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Luton Borough Council

Time for 2s - free 15 hours for 2 year olds

Free early learning and childcare in Luton!

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 and your family is less than £15,400 per year
  • 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
  • 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
    • in the care of a local authority
    • 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 or disability (SEND)
    as a current statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care plan.
    Or evidence of severe/complex or profound SEND (at least 12 months delay in most areas).
    Applications MUST be accompanied by evidence of severe/complex or profound SEND.
    Children may have:
    • speech and language delay/disorder
    • sight or hearing impairment
    • severe to profound learning difficulty
    • Autism
  • 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.
    • The family are excluded from claiming public funds as a consequence of their immigration status, or their lack of immigration status.
    • The family are in receipt of support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

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.

Child’s birthday 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 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

Contact info
Luton Family Information Service (FIS)
The Plaza, The Leagrave Centre, Strangers Way, Luton, LU4 9ND
Tel: 01582 548888

[email protected]


© 2022 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ