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2 year old FREE early education and childcare

You may be eligible to claim up to 15 hours a week during term time or a maximum of 11 hours a week throughout the year of free early learning and childcare for your 2 year old. Apply now for an immediate decision.


Families must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit to access free early learning and childcare as listed below

The parent(s) claim one of the following benefits:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit - if you and your partner have a combined income from work of £15,400 a year or less after tax
  • Tax credits and have an annual income of £16,190 or less a year before tax
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

 Special criteria will apply to some children as listed below:

  • With an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan
  • In receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Looked after by a Local Authority
  • Have left care through an adoption, residence order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

Applying for 2 year old free early education and childcare

To apply you will need:

  • Child's date of birth
  • Parent's date of birth
  • Parent's home address
  • National Insurance number or National Asylum Seekers number

Please complete the online 2 year old FREE early education application 

This application will take around 5 minutes to complete with an instant outcome of:

1) Eligible - you will receive a confirmation email with your eligible reference number that you can take to an approved childcare provider in Havering. 

2) Not eligible: Further information required – If you have selected you have a child with additional needs and/or Disabilities, that the child is Looked After Children, subject to a care order or has been Adopted from Local Authority Care additional evidence will be requested.

Eligible children can be funded from the term after their second birthday:

Child’s birthday

When your child can start early education funding

1 January to 31 March

on or after 1 April (Summer Term)

1 April to 31 August

on or after 1 September (Autumn Term)

1 September to 31 December

on or after 1 January (Spring Term)

3) Not eligible – information about other options will be shared.

Finding a free 2 year old early education and childcare place

You can find a list of providers offering free 2 year old early education and childcare places here.  

To access your child's place, you will need to:

  1. give them your offer code
  2. show them evidence of your child's date of birth (passport or birth certificate)
  3. show them proof of your home address
  4. complete any necessary paper work

The early education and childcare provider will confirm the availble start date for the place and clearly show any additional charges which may apply (The free place is for education and childcare and may not cover nappies, activities, food, trips etc.)

If you are looking to change childcare provider you must ensure you have given notice to them before looking to take up a new childcare place.

2 year old free early education and childcare film

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