The Government has launched an interactive website, which shows the help that is available towards the cost of childcare including the forthcoming Tax Free Childcare and the extended 30 hours Free Entitlement.

Free Entitlement

Free Entitlement for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

Free Entitlement is provided by the Government. It allows some 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds access to free, good quality, flexible early education and care.


Research shows that attending good quality early education and care can improve a child’s learning and development. It also helps equip children with the skills needed for when they go to school, supporting them to do well in the longer term.    Children can use up to 570 hours each year, or a maximum of 15 hours over 38 weeks.


Is my child eligible for Free Entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds?


All 3 and 4 year olds are eligible for funding the term after they become 3 years of age. 


A child born on or between 


1 April and 31 August

1 September and 31 December

1 January and 31 March

A child moving to England from another country is entitled to funded early years care and education on the same basis as any other child, regardless of whether they have British citizenship.

Is my child eligible for Free Entitlement for 2 year olds?

Eligible 2 year olds can receive 15 hours  Free Entitlement the term after they become 2 years of age. To qualify, the child must be of eligible age and the family in receipt of one or more 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

  • tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax

  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit

  • 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 a statement of special education needs (SEN) or 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


 will become eligible for a free place from


1 September, following their third birthday

1 January, following their third birthday

1 April, following their third birthday

More Information on the Free Entitlement and how to apply for 2 year old funding can be found on the WSCC website.


Please select the downloadable Free Entitlement forms below