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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.

button to apply for a childcare place


Should you experience any problems with your application, please contact the Families Information Service on telephone: 0800 458 4114

If you are a childcare provider applying on behalf of a parent, please click here.

Search here for childcare providers (Search result opens in new window)

Eligibility Criteria

The child must live in the Nottingham City Council Area.

If you are a Nottinghamshire County Council resident, please click here.


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 January to 31st March

 1st April

1st April to 31st August

 1st September

1st September to 31st December

 1st January


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

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit (or both), and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:

  • are looked after by a local authority
  • have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • get Disability Living Allowance
  • have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

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


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

If your immigration status says you have ‘no recourse to public funds’, you may still get free childcare for your 2-year-old. You must live in England and your household income must be no more than:

  • £26,500 for families outside of London with one child
  • £34,500 for families within London with one child
  • £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
  • £38,600 for families within London with two or more children

You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.

If you need any support, please contact the Families Information Service on Tel: 0800 458 4114

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