Free places for 2 year olds

Families in receipt of certain benefits, children with special educational needs and children who have previously been in care may be eligible for a free 2 year old place. Eligible children can get up to 15 hours free childcare per week at an approved provider. To find out if you qualify, see 2 year old eligibility criteria.

How do I find a place for my child?

There is a choice of providers such as a preschool playgroup, a private day nursery or childminder. You should find your own place by searching approved providers on the Trafford Directory. If you need support finding a place to meet your needs contact the Family Information Service on 0161 912 1053.

How do I receive my free hours?

The 15 free hours are for 38 weeks of the year which is known as term time. This is a total of 570 hours over the year. It is up to your childcare provider to confirm how they can offer you the free hours. This means that the number of hours in a session and the days available may be different at each provider.

Some providers who are open all year may let you use less hours per week over the full year. You may find this is an easier way to work out any payments you need to make to your provider for additional hours or services. Talk to your provider about the options they offer. 

How do I claim my funded hours?

Once you have found a place for your child, you need to complete a 2 year old funding declaration form so we know where to fund your place.

Your place starts from 1 September, 1 January or 1 April after your child's second birthday. The earliest you should complete the declaration form is 3 months before your place is due to start. Forms received earlier than this will not be processed.

Your free place will continue until your child starts school. You will need to complete a different form when your child moves up to 3 year old funding. This will be from the term after their third birthday.

Will my hours be completely free?

Your funded hours will be completely free. The provider may charge for things like additional hours, consumables, meals and extra curricular activities but these should be offered as an option and not as a condition of your place. Any charges should be clearly shown on your invoice.

How do I change my provider?

Changing providers can be unsettling for your child but we understand there is sometimes a need to change. There are specific dates during the term that changes can be made and you must complete a form by the deadline date.  Find out more about making an early years funding change.