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Free Childcare for 2 Year Olds

The Early Learning Programme (ELP) for 2 Year Olds is a Government initiative that provides free childcare places for eligible 2 year olds. Eligible children will be entitled up to 15 hours per week of free early education for a total of 38 weeks. Free places are available in participating childcare providers across the city.

Are you Eligible?

By clicking on the link below you can quickly check whether your child is eligible for a free place. It takes only a few minutes and you'll get an answer straight away. If eligible you will be able to download a confirmation letter, which you can take to participating Childcare providers to claim a free place for your child.

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Eligibility Criteria

The child must live in the Nottingham City Council Area.

If you are a Nottinghamshire County Council resident please Click Here

To be entitled to a funded 2 year old place, the parent/carer must be in receipt of one or more of the following benefits or qualifying criteria:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Tax Credit and household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax.
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • 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.

Children are also entitled to a place if:

  • Child is looked after by the Local Authority (e.g. foster care)
  • The child has a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • The child attracts Disability Living Allowance
  • The child has left care through special guardianship, an adoption order or a child arrangements order.

Your child will be entitled to a free place from the school term after their 2nd birthday.

If your child's 2nd birthday falls between

They will be entitled to their free place from

1st April to 31st August

 1st September

1st September to
31st December

 1st January

1st January to 31st March

 1st April


Parents, carers or guardians of children who belong to one of the groups listed below and where they meet equivalent income requirements will also be eligible for a free early education place.

If you’re a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits

Your 2-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and have either:

  • claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision (known as ‘part 6’)
  • been refused asylum in the UK (known as ‘section 4’)

A 2-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have either:

If your circumstances fall into one of the groups described above, you can apply for a place by completing an application form (click here to download) or call the Families Information Service team on 0800 458 4114.

You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.

Contact your childcare provider or the Families Information Service (on 0800 458 4114) to find out more.

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