Some 2-year-olds in England can get free early education and childcare.

You must be getting one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • Child Tax Credit and/or Working Tax Credit and have an annual income under £16,190
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit

Children are also entitled to a place if:

If your child is eligible, you can start claiming the term after they turn 2. The date you can claim will depend on when their birthday is.

Child’s 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


Contact your local Children’s Centre or click here to check if your child is eligible.

In the March 2023 budget the government announced expanding nursery funding this will be rolled out from April 2024, please click here to see the governments proposed changes.