Free places for 2 year olds

Eligible children can receive up to 15 hours per week of free early education at an approved provider who is part of the scheme. This starts from 1 September, 1 January or 1 April after their second birthday. 

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. View approved providers or contact the Family Information Service on 0161 912 1053 for help finding local providers.  

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 declaration form to inform the local authority where to fund your place. A paper declaration form is available from the Family Information Service on 0161 912 1053.

It will depend on your child's date of birth when you can complete the declaration and when the free place starts. For further information see claiming for my 2 year old's place.

Your child will be eligble for 3 and 4 year old funding the term after their third birthday. You need to complete a separate form for this funding

How do I change my provider?

Although we don't encourage changing providers, as this can be unsettling for your child, we understand there is sometimes a need to change. There are specific dates during the term that funding changes can be made. You will need to complete a change of provider form to let us know about your changes.  

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.