Funded free early education places for 2 year olds

Do you have a 2-year-old? Is your household income less than 16,190?

Achieving 2 year olds

This short film feature parents whose children have benefited from free child care and who have made good use of their own free time.

The film also features Parent Champions who are volunteer parents who know about childcare in Gloucester City.

Your child could be entitled to 15 hours a week of FREE early learning childcare.

If your child's eligible, you'll be able to start claiming as shown below

Child's birthday 1 January to 31 March

  • Funding entitlement starts Summer term (April)

Child's birthday 1 April to 31 August

  • Funding entitlement starts Autumn term (September)

Child's birthday 1 September to 31 December

  • Funding entitlement starts Spring term (January)

Places are available at childminders, pre-school playgroups, nurseries or children's centres who have signed an agreement with us to provide nursery education for 2 year olds.

How do I know if my child is entitled to a funded free place?

You may be entitled to a funded free place if

  • You meet the eligibility criteria also used for free school meals
  • Your family receive working tax credits and have annual gross earnings of no more than 16,190

If you think you may be entitled you can check by visiting the Citizen Portal after your child's second birthday. Once you have registered on the portal, you will be able to put in all the relevant information and the system will advise you if you are eligible.

Children may also be entitled to statutory funding if they meet one of the following:

  • They have a Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or a current statement of Special Educational Needs
  • The child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
  • They are in the care of the Local Authority, they have left care through special guardianship order, child arrangements order or an adoption order

You can submit an application under the above criteria by using the Citizen Portal as above.

If you have problems accessing the portal or would like more information please contact the Family Information Service

Phone 01452 427362 or
FREEPHONE 0800 54202 02 (calls to this number from a mobile may be charged at a higher rate).

You will need to have your National Insurance Number to hand.

What is my child entitled to?

Your child is entitled to have up to 15 hours a week (570 hours in a year). You will be able to use these hours during the school term up to 38 weeks or flexibly during the year over 50 weeks. Childcare providers will discuss their availability with you. The minimum length of a session is 2 hours and the maximum is 10 hours in any one day, but this would need to be agreed with your provider.

If you take up more than the 15 hours entitlement you will be charged for these additional hours by your childcare provider.

What will happen when my child is 3?

All 3 and 4 years olds are entitled to 15 hours free funded nursery education a week (570 hours in a year) until they start school. You will be able to take these hours during the school term up to 38 weeks or flexibly during the year over 50 weeks.

For more information go to the Free for 3 and 4 page.

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