3 and 4-year-olds


All 3 and 4-year-olds are eligible for the Early Years Education Funding starting from the term after their third birthday until they start school (usually at statutory school age – the term following their fifth birthday).


From September 2017 parents will be able to apply for 30 hours a week free childcare.

For more information please visit the government website here.

The government provides funding for all 3 and 4-year-old children and some 2-year-olds for attending early years' provision for 570 hours per year.




A 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if the parent/carer gets one of the following:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Universal Credit

  • Tax credits and has 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)




A 2-year-old 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


Parents must check their eligibility for the entitlement to Early Years Education Funding for their 2-year-old.

Parents will need their National Insurance number, date of birth, name and child’s details. Eligibility can be checked online or by phone: 0345 155 1013


Parents and carers of children with additional needs, and foster and adoptive parents should discuss applying with the Early Years Education Funding helpdesk on 01392 385530 or


Children are eligible to receive the Early Years Education Funding from the start of the term after their 2nd birthday for a maximum of three funding periods.


Parents/carers cannot apply before the start of the funding period in which the child’s second birthday occurs.