All you need to know about free funded places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds
Funding 2, 3 and 4 year old places
2 year funding
Information about whether or not your child is eligible can be found at www.gov.uk/freechildcare.
To be eligible parents must be getting one of the following:
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income not over £16,190
the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
Working Tax Credits and earn £16,190 a year or less
Children are also entitled to a place if:
they’re looked after by a local council
they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education health and care plan
they get Disability Living Allowance
they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
3 and 4 year funding
All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 free hours per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks.
Bright beginnings will offer an additional 5 hours per week for free.
30 hours free funding
You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:
in work - or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave
each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week - this is £125.28 if you’re over 25
This earnings limit does not apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.
You’re not eligible if:
your child does not usually live with you
either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000
you’re from outside the EEA and your UK residence card says you cannot access public funds
If you foster your child, you cannot apply online for 30 hours free childcare. Speak to your social worker and your local authority if you want to apply.
You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits, childcare vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare.
If you cannot work
You may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.