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2 year old free childcare and early education eligibility

You can check whether you are eligible for free childcare and early education for your 2 year old, through our online form on the Citizen Portal.

You will be asked to choose whether you are applying using ‘economic’ criteria or ‘non-economic’ criteria. If you think you are eligible under both criteria, then you should choose the ‘economic’ criteria option.

Economic application:

Choose this option if your family receives one or more of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit - for places starting in the summer term of 2018 (on or after 1 April 2018), or any subsequent term, if a parent is entitled to Universal Credit they must have an annual net earned income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400, assessed on up to three of the parent’s most recent Universal Credit assessment periods.
  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Non-economic application:

Choose this option if you don't think you are eligible under the economic criteria, but one or more of the following applies to your child:

  • Is looked after by a local council
  • Has left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
  • Has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or assessment for an EHCP has been agreed/is underway
  • Receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA)


Only choose the non-economic option if the economic criteria doesn’t apply to you.

Important - National Insurance numbers, full names and postcodes are required in order to complete your application. Please ensure that you give accurate and full information where required.

Any personal information you give to us is held securely and will be used only for council purposes. Information that was given for one purpose may be used for other council purposes, unless there are legal restrictions preventing this.

If you need any help filling in the application, please visit your local children's centre for advice, or contact the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 or email

Check whether you are eligible for free childcare and early education for your 2 year old on the Citizen Portal. 

Please note, in order to check whether you are eligible using the online application, you need to use web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. The application does not currently work with Google Chrome.

Check your eligibility now

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