Funded Childcare for 2 year olds

Childcare funding for families in receipt of certain benefit or on a low income.

Is Your Child Eligible?

  • Your child can have a free 2 year old childcare place from the term after their 2nd birthday until the term after their 3rd birthday.
A child born in the period... Will become eligible for a free place from...
1st April to 31st August the start of the Autumn school term (early September)
1st September to 31st December the start of the Spring school term (early January)
1st January to 31st March the start of the Summer school term (early April)

Current Rules

  • You must also be receiving one of the following benefits:
    • Income Support
    • Employment and Support Allowance income related
    • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
    • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
    • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
    • You get Working Tax Credits and earn no more than £15,400 a year
    • They have a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan
    • They get Disability Living Allowance in their own right
    • They have left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order
    • Universal Credit with income of £15,400 or less after tax excluding benefit payments

In addition, all 2 year old children who are in the care of the Local Authority are eligible for a free childcare place.

Who Provides the Free Childcare Place?

Free childcare places for 2 year olds are provided by approved childminders, day nurseries and playgroups with some schools also offering places.

Places will normally be available for 15 hours per week during term-time. However, some childcare providers may offer alternative arrangements e.g. fewer hours per week, over more weeks per year.

The childcare providers that are approved by the Local Authority to offer the free 2 year old childcare places are listed on the Redcar & Cleveland Information Directory website under Childcare and include day nurseries, school-based provision and Childminders. Please note that you must complete an application form and your eligibility will be checked, before you are able to access a free 2 year old place. 

How to Apply?

You can either:

  • Contact Families Information Service who will check your eligibility


  • Your chosen childcare provider can fill out an application with you, or do a 2 year eligibility check on our funding system.

If you are eligible, we will send you an eligibility letter which needs to be given to the childcare provider. This must be done before your child starts.

Please note that your application will not be processed until approx four weeks prior to the start of the eligible term (the term after your child turns 2 years old).

For more information and advice about the free 2 year old childcare places please contact us on 01642 444532 or email us at