Some 2-year-olds can get up to 15 hours of free early education until the term after their third birthday. After this they may get free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds.
Your 2-year-old can get free childcare if you get any of these benefits:
2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:
Your 2-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and have either:
A 2-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have any of the following:
Funding is available from the term after your child turns 2. You can find more information on the Childcare Choices website.
|Born on or in between
|Eligible for funding from
|1 January to 31 March
|Summer term (April onwards)
|1 April to 31 August
|Autumn term (September onwards)
|1 September to 31 December
|Spring term (January onwards)
If you’re eligible, the free early education and childcare must be with an approved childcare provider
If you need help with your application you can:
You can use your free 15 hours:
If your application is approved, you will receive a reference number. Give this to your chosen childcare provider.
Read the Essex county council guide on Free Early Education Entitlement for 2, 3 and 4 year olds (PDF, 175.51kB) for more information and advice.
Taken from https://www.essex.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs