FREE Childcare for Eligible Two Year Olds

More than half of Barnsley’s two year olds are eligible for up to 15 hours a week free early education in a Family Centre, Day Nursery, Preschool or with a Childminder. Research shows that high quality early education at 2 brings benefits to children’s development and helps children prepare for school.

By completing the application you can quickly find out if your child is eligible. It’s quick and easy to apply and you will get an answer straight away. If you are eligible you will be given a voucher to download which you can take to any childcare provider graded Good or Outstanding by OFSTED to claim your FREE hours.

If your application shows as ‘Unsuccessful’ you can refer your application as part of the process to Families Information Service (FIS). Don't worry you may still be eligible you may need to provide some additional information.

To be eligible you must be getting one of the following:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act

  • Tax credits and have an annual income under £16,190 before tax

  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

  • Universal Credit

Two year olds are also entitled to a place if:

1: They get Disability Living Allowance

2: They are looked after by a local council

3: They have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education health and care plan

4: They have left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

Please note: If you are applying under criteria 2, 3 or 4 you will need to ring Families Information Service on 0800 0345 340 and not apply online

When can my child start and how is the funding paid?

If your child is eligible the funding will be paid directly to the childcare setting and will depend on when their birthday is.

If your child’s 2nd birthday is between:

1 January to 31 March they can start the beginning of the Summer term on or after 1 April

1 April to 31 August they can start the beginning of the Autumn term on or after 1 September

1 September to 31 December they can start the beginning of the Spring term on or after 1 January