Children and families

Free early learning for two-year-olds

Who qualifies for a free place?

Your two-year-old will get 15 hours free early education each week, for 38 weeks, if you receive:

  • Income Support, income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit based on an annual combined income of £15,400, after tax
  • tax credits with earnings of no more than £16,190 per year, before tax
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • Working Tax Credit four week-run on

A two-year-old may also qualify for a free place if he or she:

  • gets a Disability Living Allowance
  • is looked after by the local authority
  • has left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
  • gets support from the Home Office under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • has leave to remain in the UK with no recourse to public funds on family or private life grounds
  • can live in the UK because their main carer is a British citizen or Zambrano Carer

Check who qualifies

The GOV.UK website has a calculator to find out how much you could get towards approved childcare.

Check if you can get help with childcare costs 

How do I find a place?

To find a local approved nursery, playgroup, childminder or school that offers free places, you can:

Proofs you must give

A childcare provider must see evidence of your child's date of birth and proof that they qualify for a free place, such as:

  • an Income Support letter
  • a Tax Credit Award Notice
  • an Asylum Seekers NASS card

What providers are approved?

All approved providers must:

  • be registered with Ofsted
  • be inspected against the Early Years Foundation Stage Regulatory Framework
  • have signed Liverpool’s Early Years Funding Agreement