Free childcare for 2-year-olds

4. Find out if you're eligible

To check if you're eligible visit a children’s centre or contact the Early Years Team.

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

  • Income Support
  • income based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
  • income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit - if your annual household income is low (this usually means a combined income of less that £15,400 a year after tax)
  • Tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for working tax credits)

Or if any of the following apply to your child:

  • they're looked after by the local authority
  • they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they've left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
  • they have a Zambrano carers
  • their family cannot access public funds but they have right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • they're of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 - 'the 1999 Act')

As part of the eligibility check you'll need to provide:

  • your national insurance number
  • your name
  • your date of birth
  • evidence of your benefits if you claim Universal Credit

If eligible you'll receive a letter from us which you can take along to your childcare provider.

If you need to find suitable childcare in Stockport, you can search below:

Find childcare services

Families will always be better off taking up a free place. However, if you aren't eligible you could still get help with childcare costs. Further information is available at Childcare Choices.