Skip to main content

Free places for 2 year olds

Two year olds who live in households which meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to free childcare places of up to 15 hours a week over 38 weeks. This is a total of 570 hours in each 12 month period from the school term after their second birthday.

Your 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit - if you and your partner have a combined income from work of less than £15,400 a year after tax
  • tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

The eligibility criteria has been extended to include:

  • children of Zambrano Carers
  • children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private/family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 - ‘the 1999 Act’).

A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:

  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

If you’re eligible the free early education and childcare:

You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.

When should I apply for 2 year old funding?

The ideal time to apply is the school term before your child’s second birthday.

I am eligible - what happens next?

You will receive a reference number confirming your eligibility for 2 year old funding.

You can share this reference number with your chosen childcare provider. Your childcare provider will use this reference number to place your child at their setting and claim funding.

Please note: not all childcare providers in Bracknell Forest are registered to deliver 2 year old funding. Please visit the Bracknell Forest Local Directory to search for childcare providers registered to deliver 2 year old funding.

I am not eligible - what happens next?

More information on help with childcare costs is available on the government’s website Childcare Choices.

If you need assistance, please contact our outreach worker by:

What happens when my child turns 3?

All children are entitled to free early education funding from the term after their third birthday; this is known as the universal entitlement. A child in receipt of 2 year old funding will automatically transfer to the universal entitlement the term after their third birthday.

Contact information

Display Name Family Information Service

Make an enquiry