Howard Street, Rochdale, OL12 0PP
01706 646103

Eligibility and Criteria

Free early years education is available for some 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds.

Government funding allows us to provide free places of up to 15 hours a week for those children who are eligible.

We also offer places to those children between the age of 3 & 4 who are entitled to extended funding (30 hours per week).

To find out if you're eligible, visit the Rochdale Council website or alternatively the Childcare Choices website

What we can offer:

  • 15 or 30 hours funding, 5 days per week, 38 weeks of the year (term-time only).
  • Morning session (8.45am - 11.45am) or an afternoon session (12.30pm - 3.30pm). 
  • For those children who receive 30 hours funding, we can offer a 6 hour session per day between the hours of 8.45am - 3.30pm.

When does your eligibility begin:

The date from when your entitlement to funding begins, depends on the date your child's birthday falls on. 

Birthday between 1st April & 31st August - Beginning of the Autumn Term (September onwards)

Birthday between 1st September & 31st December - Beginning of the Spring Term (January onwards)

Birthday between 1st January - 31st March - Beginning of the Summer Term (April onwards)


Please note: If your child is eligible for funding, a place will be allocated dependant if there are spaces available. If there are no places available, your application will be added to a waiting list.

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.