Children who turn two years old during the current school session may be entitled to 600 hours of early learning and childcare per school year. This usually means 16 hours a week during term time, throughout the school year.
Parents, carers or guardians of children who will be two years old at any point during the school session are eligible for the increased childcare provision if they meet the current criteria for free school meals. This includes two-year-olds who have a parent(s) or carer on:
Income Support (IS)
Job Seeker's Allowance (income based)
any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
State Pension Credit
Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit and your income is less than £16,105*
both maximum CTC and maximum Working Tax Credit and your income is under £6,420 *
support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Universal Credit and your household take-home pay, is £610* a month or less
* The income thresholds for Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Universal Credit can vary annually.
"Take-home pay" is the money your household receives from work after tax, National Insurance and any pension contributions have been taken off. Your award letter will tell you how much your take-home pay is for the claim period. This should be £610 or less.
Additionally, free early learning and childcare is available for two-year-olds who are, or have been at any point since their second birthday:
looked after by a local council
the subject of a kinship care order
the subject of a guardianship order
This can be with one of our nursery classes or with a private or voluntary provider or childminder who is in partnership with us.
Different models of hours are offered by different providers and you should contact the head teacher/manager of your preferred provider to discuss how you wish to use these hours and what is available.
Nurseries and playgroups
Children up to the age of five can play and learn at nursery or playgroup. These could be voluntary, private or council run.
Unlike school, your child doesn't legally have to go to nursery or any kind of pre-school.
Nurseries are inspected and registered by the Care Inspectorate. Nurseries and playgroups with places for two year olds are listed below.
Childminders look after children in their own home. They are self-employed so set their own charges and hours of business. They are inspected and registered by the Care Inspectorate.