Welcome to sthelens.gov.uk

Best place to find information and services that your council provides...

Free Early Education Entitlement for 2 Year Olds

Did you know that some 2 year old children can access 15 hours per week of free early Small girl reading at nurseryeducation?

Some two-year-old's in St.Helen's will be entitled to a free early education place of up to 15 hours per week over a minimum of 38 weeks per year with a nursery, playgroup or childminder. This will depend upon your family circumstances.

To be eligible to receive a free early education place for your 2-year old, you will need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • 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/ Working Tax Credits providing you have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • The child has a current Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
  • The child attracts Disability Living Allowance
  • Looked after children and children who have left care through adoption orders, child arrangement or special guardianship orders.


Your child turns 2 between:

You can apply for a place:

Your child will start their funded place:

1 April - 31 August 1 May - 31 August 1 September (Autumn Term)
1 September - 31 December 1 October - 31 December 1 January (Spring Term)
1 January - 31 March 1 February - 31 March 1 April (Summer Term)


Children like to explore the world around them, play with other children and have fun. Good early years education from a young age can help children to:

  • Become more confident
  • Play and join in with other children
  • Develop their language skills
  • Learn new things
  • Prepare for school

Please check the criteria listed above carefully to see if your child could be eligible for a funded place. If you think that you might be eligible, then you can Apply Online  or alternatively you can ring the Free Early Education Entitlement Team using the contact information below and we will do the check for you and give you an immediate response.

If you are caring for a Looked After Child or your child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or has left care through adoption, special guardianship order or is subject to a child arrangement order then please do not apply online as you will automatically qualify and do not require a check. In these circumstances please contact the Free Early Education Entitlement Team on 01744 676541/676542/676557.