Free early education for 2 year olds
Your child may be able to access up to 15 hours per week of free early education over a minimum of 38 weeks, and up to a maximum of 570 hours within a year.
The free early education and childcare can be at a setting that receives funding and is signed up to Oldham’s Directory of Approved Providers. This includes:
- nursery classes in schools and academies
- day nurseries
- playgroups and pre-school
Your child becomes eligible for a free place in the term after their second birthday.
When you can claim
1 January to 31 March
the beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 August
the beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 December
the beginning of term on or after 1 January
If you, as a parent, are currently claiming one of the following, then your two-year-old is entitled to the 15 free hours allowance:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
- Child Tax Credit and/or Working Tax Credit and have an annual income under £16,190
- The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- The Working Tax Credit four-week run on
- Universal Credit
There are also a number of criteria that apply to your child rather than to you as a parent.
If any of the following apply, your child will be entitled to the free hours allowance for two-year-olds:
- they are looked after by their local authority
- they get Disability Living Allowance
- they have a current statement of Special Education Needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan
- they have left care under a Special Guardianship Order, Child Arrangements Order or Adoption Order
Advice and support
Contact your local centre for advice about the free early education entitlement.