Free under-5s childcare gives full details on who can get free childcare.

Two year olds

If you are on a low income, some types of benefit or meet certain other criteria, you might be eligible to apply for 570 hours free early education or childcare per year (15 hours per week over 38 weeks) for your two-year-old.

You can check whether your child qualifies and apply for funding on the Citizen Portal (guide to using Citizen Portal). If you need help with the online application, please talk to your health visitor, your local children’s centre or Early Years providers.

Check our Family Information website to see a list of eligible providers that offer this care.

Three and four year olds

From the term after their third birthday until they reach compulsory school age, your child is entitled to 15 hours’ free childcare or early education per week – up to 570 hours per year.

You will have to pay for any additional time if your child attends for more than 15 hours a week.

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they may also be entitled to a sum of money paid to their school or childcare setting. The Early Year’s Pupil Premium gives providers of early education and childcare extra funding to support and boost the learning of certain three and four year olds.

Our Family Information Service website lists our eligible providers. You and your chosen provider should discuss the arrangements for your child.

30 hours childcare