When you can start claiming
The date you can start claiming depends on your child’s birthday:
|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|
For example, if your child was born on 15 February 2013. You can get free childcare when the next term starts after 1 April 2016.
The free early education and childcare must be with an approved childcare provider. It stops once your child starts reception class in a state school.
Eligibility for 2-Year-Olds
Your 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if you get one of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Universal Credit
- Tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
- The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit).
A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:
- They’re looked after by a local council
- They have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- They get Disability Living Allowance
- They’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
You can get more information about free early education and childcare from your local council.