Free funded childcare for your 2-year-old

Front of free childcare postcard

What is free early education for 2 year olds?

The government funds up to 570 hours of free childcare per year for eligible 2 year olds. This works out as 15 hours a week if your child takes up the childcare during term time, or you could take fewer hours over more weeks in the year.

All eligible two year olds are able to take a place the term after their birthday.

Why should I take up the offer?

We understand that making the decision to send your child to a nursery or a childminder can be a big step for some parents and carers, and it is natural to have some concerns. Every child and family is different but there is lots of help and support available.

What are the benefits of sending my child to a nursery or childminder?

  • Children develop quickly in their earliest years, and early education supports their development and overall wellbeing.
  • Research shows that good quality early education and childcare from an early age makes a real difference to how well a child does in the future.  
  • Early years and childcare settings are wonderful places for your child to learn, develop new skills, make new friends and have fun.  
  • It will also free up your time to support you to take up training, start, or return to work, and support you to reduce your childcare bill.

What other parents have said

Listen to Bradford parents talk about how childcare has helped them and their children:



Terrific Twos campaign


We have a dedicated team who support families with children who can receive free education and childcare for their 2-year-olds. Have a look at our Access and Take Up page to learn more.

Am I entitled?

If your child is two you are eligible if you are claiming any one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit with earnings from employment below £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit with earnings from employment below £16,190
  • Universal Credit - if you and your partner are on a low income from work (this usually means a combined income of less than £15,400 a year after tax)

Or if your child:

  • is a looked after child
  • has left care - a child who has left care through a child arrangement order (formerly known as special guardianship) or an adoption or residence order
  • has special educational needs, and/or disabilities - but only if he/she has a current SEN statement or an Education, Health and Care plan or receives Disability Living Allowance

For families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) your family's annual household income must be no higher than the following:

  • £26,500 for families with one child
  • £30,600 for families with two or more children

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

How do I apply

To apply for a place, firstly, find an early education and childcare provider to meet you and your child’s needs.

You can use our childcare finder or phone 01274 437503.

The early education and childcare provider will ask you to complete a parent agreement form, they will then check your child’s eligibility, and will inform you when your child can start attending.

If you need further information or support accessing a two year old place, please contact us on

Tel: 01274 437503 (available Monday to Thursday 8.30-5.00, Friday 8.30-4.30)

What other support is there?

If you are eligible for childcare funding but need some support on deciding if childcare is for you and your child(ren), this could be:

  • You are worried about leaving your child
  • You’re not sure which setting is right for you
  • You’re not sure how to approach a nursery/childminder
  • You need some guidance on applying for the free funding

We have an Access and Take up team that can help you.

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