Free Childcare for 2 Year Olds

young girl jumping up and down

Would you like help with childcare?

Do you want to give your child the chance to experience new activities and make new friends before starting school?  

Eligible children are entitled to 570 hours annually which equates to three hours per day - term time (although this can be stretched over more weeks if agreed with the family and childcare provider)

CHILDCARE FOR WORKING FAMILIES OF 2 YEAR OLDS FROM APRIL 2024

Eligible working parents can apply for 15 hours of childcare for their two-year-old. Parents have until 31 March 2024 to apply for a code, with mid-January to the end of February being the optimum time to apply.

To apply for a childcare code each parent needs to be working and earning the equivalent of 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage and under £100,000 adjusted net income per year. 

There is more information on the childcare support available to parents on the Childcare Choices website, where they can explore the early education entitlements and other government help with childcare costs. 

FREE CHILDCARE FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES OF 2 YEAR OLDS

How do I apply?

You will be asked to register on Westmorland and Furness Council's Citizen Portal, once registered you will have an option to choose to apply for a Funded Early Education place for your 2 year old.

Apply online for free childcare for low income families.

If you are any of the following listed below:

  • You are a Zambrano Carer
  • You have the right to remain in the UK under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and are subject to no recourse to public funds
  • You are supported under s4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Please complete the Zambrano Carer application form (PDF 654KB).

Families with no recourse to public funds:

  • those with a UK ancestry visa
  • those with temporary protection status under Section 12 of the Nationality and Borders Act; and
  • those with pre-settled status with no qualifying right to reside.

Please complete the no recourse to public funds (NRPF) application form (121KB)

Is my child entitled?

In order to apply, your family must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support

  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance

  • An income-related employment and support allowance

  • The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit and/or Working Tax Credit, provided the annual gross income is no more than £16,190 as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

If you meet the criteria below, please provide supporting evidence:

  • Universal credit - with an annual net earnings threshold of £15,400 (based on calculating earnings on a monthly basis)

  • If the child is looked after by the Local Authority

  • If the child has a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan

  • If the child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance

  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • If the child has left care through special guardianship or through an adoption or residence order

  • If you are excluded from claiming public funds as a consequence of your immigration status, or your lack of immigration status; and are in receipt of support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989

If:

  • You are a Zambrano Carer
  • You have the right to remain in the UK under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and are subject to no recourse to public funds
  • You are supported under s4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Are excluded from claiming public funds as a consequence of your immigration status, or your lack of immigration status; and are in receipt of support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

Please complete the Zambrano Carer application form (PDF 654KB).

If your immigration status says you have ‘no recourse to public funds’, you may still get free childcare for your 2-year-old. You must live in England and your household income must be no more than:

  • £26,500 for families outside of London with one child
  • £34,500 for families within London with one child
  • £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
  • £38,600 for families within London with two or more children

You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.

Please complete the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) application form (121KB)

When is my child eligible?
If your child's second birthday falls between: Your child will become eligible from:
1 January and 31 March The start of the Summer Term (April)
1 April and 31 August The start of the Autumn Term (September)
1 September and 31 December The start of the Spring Term (January)
Who provides the funding?

You can use any of the following as long as they are Ofsted registered and are included on the local authority list to provide the entitlement.

  • Day nurseries

  • Pre schools

  • Nursery schools

  • Nursery classes

  • Some childminders

What are the benefits for you and your child?

High quality childcare can help your child:

  • Experience new and exciting activities

  • Make new friends

  • Support your child's learning for the future

  • Build their confidence and social skills

  • Improve their speech and language

It can also help you:

  • Save on childcare costs

  • Time to explore work/training opportunities

  • Take on more paid work

  • Support your child to play and learn

  • To have more time to yourself

Page last reviewed: 25/01/2024

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