Eligibility and Criteria

Visit the Childcare Choices website for more details https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

2 Year Old Eligibility


Your 2 year-old can get childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:

  • 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
  • Child tax credits and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax.
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit.
  • The working tax credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit).
  • Universal Credit and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments

If you’re a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits you may be eligible under any of the following criteria:

  • Support under the immigration and Asylum Act and have either claimed Asylum in the UK and are waiting for a ‘part 6’ or been refused asylum in the UK known as ‘section 4’,
  • Leave to remain with ‘no recourse to public funds’ on family or private life grounds.
  • Support from your Local Authority because you have ‘a child in need’, for example they have a disability or a child protection plan.
  • the right to live in the UK because you’re the main carer of a British citizen (known as a Zambrano carer).

Children are also entitled to a place if:

  • They are looked after by a Local Authority.
  • They have an Education, Health Care Plan (EHCP).
  • They receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • They have left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order.

3 and 4 Year Old Eligibility


All 3 year and 4 year old children are entitled to 15 hours free childcare for 38 weeks per year.

If you think you may be eligible for Government extended hours (30 hours), you are responsible for checking your eligibility and providing the 30 hour code to nursery.

You may be eligible for 30 hours if you meet the following criteria:

  • You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £142 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). 
  • If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.