Free Childcare for 2 Year Olds

15 hours of free childcare

Parents are being encouraged to find out if their two year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free childcare, as from September 2014, the number of eligible children doubled.

Around 40% of 2 year olds are now entitled to 15 free hours of free early education per week - up from 20% last year. Evidence suggests that children from less advantaged backgrounds often start school 19 months behind their peers, but also reveals that good quality childcare can reduce this gap and have a significant benefit in terms of a child's development.

Are you eligible?

You must be getting one of the following:

· Income Support

· income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)

· Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

· Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act

· The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

· Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income not over £16,190

· the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

· Working Tax Credits and earn £16,190 a year or less

Other ways to qualify

Children are also entitled to a place if:

· they're looked after by a local council

· they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education health and care plan

· they get Disability Living Allowance

· they've left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

When can you start claiming?

If your child is eligible, you can start claiming after they turn 2. The date you can claim will depend on when their birthday is.

Child's 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

Contact your local council to check if your child is eligible.

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