Details on free flexible 15 hours
Eligibility for 2-year-olds

Your 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if you get one of the following:

Income Support
Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Universal Credit
Tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 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)

A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:

They're looked after by a local council
They have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
They get Disability Living Allowance

They've left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order.

Free 30 Hours 


The new entitlement is an extension of the current universal education entitlement for 3 & 4 year olds and provides an additional 15 hours of free childcare for children that are eligible. This new entitlement will come into place in September 2017.
The additional 15 hours will be available to children age 3 at the start of the term following their 3rd birthday and whom families meet the criteria. The extended entitlement is intended to support working parents with the cost of childcare and enable them, where they wish, to return to work or to work additional hours.
The entitlement is designed for both parents that are working (or sole parents working in a lone parent family), and each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wave (NLW), and less than £100,000 per year (per individual). You can find our more information about the requirements here.

Who will be eligible
Currently, to be eligible for the entitlement, parents will need to declare that they expect to earn the equivalent of 16 hours national minimum or living wage on average each week over the next quarter. This quarterly declaration period has been designed to help those on fluctuating incomes, including those on zero hours contracts, to meet the criteria. Self-employed parents will be able to assess their expected income either over the next declaration period, or for the current tax year. Parents can be in receipt of any other form of childcare support and still access the extended entitlement.
As well as the circumstances described above, there is an extended list of criteria's which parents that may be categorised within. Circumstances such as, one parent Is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits
How can I take up my entitlement
Flexible packages of funded hours - Children are able to take up their full entitlement of a funded place at times that best support their learning, and at times which fit the needs of parents to enable them to work. (Subject to results of the consultation)
No session to be longer than 10 hours
No session to be shorter than 3 hours between 9:00am and 3:30pm
Not before 6:00am or after 8:00pm
A maximum of three providers
Over more than 38 weeks of the year
Outside of school terms
At weekends
How do I know if I am eligible
The process for checking eligibility for the additional hours will be determined by HMRC through a parental application/declaration.