Skip to main content

Achieving 2 Year Olds

Your 2 year old may be entitled to a free early education place for up to 15 hours a week. Don't let your child miss out on the best start in life, give them the opportunity to make new friends, learn through play and have lots of fun!

Is My Child Eligible for a Free Place?
Yes if you are in receipt of one or more of the benefits listed below:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment & Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of the State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you are not receiving Working Tax Credit, and your annual household income is less than £16,191 (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs)
  • Working Tax Credit and your annual household income is less than £16,190
  • Universal Credi


  • Your child has a current statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education, hHalth and Care Plan (ECHP)
  • Your child gets Disability Allowance
  • Your child has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order


If eligible, you will need to make sure that your child is registered and attending your chosen childcare setting before the following headcount dates, in order for the setting to claim the funding from the Local Authority.

  • Summer Term (2017) headcount 18 May 2017
  • Autumn Term (2017) headcount 5 October 2017
  • Spring Term (2018) headcount 18 January 2018


When Can Eligible Children Start their Free Place?

If your child's 2nd birthday falls between     

Free places are available from   
1 January - 31 March the start of the summer term (after Easter)   
1 April - 31 August the start of the autumn term (early September)              
1 September - 31 December the start of the spring term (early January)

Please do not apply too early.  The best time to apply is two months before your child's free place could start, refer to the table above.

Where can my child go?

View the list of Day Nurseries, Playgroups or Childminders registered to take your child. Not all childminders are on the Family Service Directory, for a full list of Achieving 2 Year Old settings contact the Family Information Service (see below)

How do I Apply?

You can apply online here 

or telephone the Family Information Service on 01642 354200 or contact your nearest Children's Centre and ask for an Achieving 2 Year Olds application form.

If you are receiving the Childcare element of Working Tax Credit
Please read the leaflet WTC52015 particularly page 15 'Changes you need to tell us about'.

What Happens After I have Applied?
We will send you a letter to let you know whether you are eligible or not.  
If you are eligible your letter will contain information on how to find childcare in your area.

Local Offer

Back to top