Free early education for two year olds


If you’re the parent or carer of a two-year-old and you receive certain benefits you could be eligible to apply for a free early education place.


What do you get?

From the term after their second birthday, eligible children will be entitled to a place for either:

  • 15 hours a week during term time only (38 weeks a year) or
  • 12 hours a week all year round, over 48 weeks a year


Apply for a place

The quickest way to apply is online. You’ll need a parent or carer’s National Insurance number. Click here to get started. Alternatively, you can download a form to print.
Who can Apply?
Children may be eligible if their parent is receiving any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and has an annual income below £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit and has an annual income below £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’- the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Or if they are:

  • Children with a disability or special educational needs
  • Children with a child protection plan
  • Children looked after by the Local Authority
  • Children who are members of a travelling family
  • Children who have left care but are not able to return home (through adoption orders, residence orders or special guardianship)