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15 hours free childcare and early learning for 2 year olds

If you meet any of the qualifying criteria, your child will become eligible from the term after their second birthday.

Qualifying criteria: 

  • In receipt of certain benefits or,
  • if your child has a special educational need or disability or,
  • if your child was or is, in foster care or adopted, or
  • have no recourse to public funds

You can get the 15 hours at an Ofsted registered private day nursery, pre-school playgroup or with a childminder.

Please read the sections below for further details on each criteria.

special educational need or a disability
If your child:
  • Has an Education, Health and Care plan or,
  • receives Disability Living Allowance
Please call the Early Years and Childcare Team on 020 8583 6421 or email 2y@hounslow.gov.uk
We can also support you in finding childcare if you are having difficulties.
adopted or in foster care
If your child:
  • Is looked after by the local authority
  • Has left care under a special guardianship order
  • Has a child arrangement order
  • Has an adoption order
To find out more please call the Early Years and Childcare Team on 020 8583 6421 or email 2y@hounslow.gov.uk
no recourse to public funds
You are able to get free childcare if:
  • You are a Zambrano carer. A Zambrano carer is the primary carer of a British citizen child or dependent adult where requiring the primary carer to leave the UK would force that British citizen to leave the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • You are a family who have a right to be in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights)
  • You are a family receiving support under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • You receive support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989
If any of these apply please contact the Early Years and Childcare Team on 020 8583 6421 or email 2y@hounslow.gov.uk
What isn't covered?

Please make sure you are aware of any additional charges before your child attends your chosen childcare provider.

The 15 hours free childcare offer is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these additions.

However, you must not be required to pay any fee as a condition of taking up a 15 hour place, and must be offered alternative options. If you choose to pay for these, it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider.