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Accessing free childcare

When is my child eligible for a free place?

The date you can start claiming a free places is set by the Department for Education. It starts from the term following either your child’s second or third birthday, if your household is eligible for 2 year old funding.

Table showing when a child is eligible for a free place.

A child born on or between

Can receive free nursery education from

1 April and 31 August

Autumn Term (September)

1 September and 31 December

Spring Term (January)

1 January and 31 March

Summer Term (April)

The start and end dates of school holidays has no bearing on the eligibility dates or when funding starts.

Free childcare funding ends the term after a childs fifth birthday, or when your child moves into reception class in a maintained school. This is even if you opt for your child to attend reception class part time.

Where can I get a free place?

Free places are available at childcare providers who are registered with Ofsted and approved by Bracknell Forest Council to deliver the free entitlements. Free places are available from:

  • Local Authority nursery classes (3 and 4 year olds only)
  • independent and academy schools
  • private day nurseries
  • pre-schools
  • childminders

For more information about the types of childcare available, to ask about vacancies and for guidance on choosing a childcare provider please see the Bracknell Forest Local Directory.

You can also contact the Family Information Service online or by calling 01344 353133.

Contact information

Display Name Family Information Service

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