Early years and childcare
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
Use GOV.UK’s online tool using the button below to 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:
- search Liverpool’s Early Help Directory or
- call our early years team on 0800 085 2022
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