Free childcare for 2 year olds

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If you have a two year old child they may be able to get free childcare and early learning at a private day nursery, pre-school or with an Ofsted registered childminder if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit and not working
  • Universal credit and you and your partner have a combined income from work of £15,400 or less, a year after tax.
  • Working Tax Credit and you have an income of £16,190 or less 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)


Check to see if you qualify here


If you meet the qualifying criteria above, your child will become eligible from the term after their second birthday for up to 15 hours of free childcare each week.

As of September 2019, you may also get free childcare if:

  • you are a Zambrano Carer
  • you have no recourse to public funds and with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private/family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • your children are a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act)

My child has a special educational need or disability

You are able to receive free childcare if your 2 year old child if they:

  • have a current statement of Special Educational Needs
  • have an Education, Health and Care plan
  • receives Disability Living Allowance

Please call the Early Years and Childcare Team on 020 8583 6421

We can also support you in finding childcare if you are having difficulty in finding a free place.

If your child starts in a day nursery or preschool, they may be able to get extra support from the Early Years SEN team.

Child is or was in Foster Care or has been adopted

You may be able to get 15 hours free if the child:

  • is looked after by the local authority; or
  • has left care under
    • a special guardianship order
    • child arrangement order
    • adoption order

You will not need to go online to check your eligibility.  To find out more please call the Early Years and Childcare Team on 020 8583 6421

Confirmation Letter

When you have your letter, you can search for a childcare provider within these links.

Let the provider know you have a confirmation letter. Arrange a visit and don’t forget to take the letter with you. The childcare provider will tell you when your free place will start from.

Frequently asked questions

For more information on free childcare for 2 year olds, please see our frequently asked questions .