Free Early Learning for two-year-olds
Have you applied for January 2021/spring term start?
Don't miss out. Watch the Free for 2s video to see two-year-olds learning through fun and play. See if your child is eligible by applying below!
- Free for 2s videos
- Mayor of London's Early Years Campaign
- Apply for a place online
- How does Free for 2s work?
- How do I know if my child can have a free place?
- What if my child cannot have a free place?
- Where can my child have a place?
- How do I choose a provider?
- When can my child start?
Watch our Free for 2s videos to see what a typical learning and fun day is like for a two year-old!
The Mayor’s London Early Years Campaign aims to raise awareness about early years learning/education and how it benefits children.
Want your 2 year old to learn, play and make friends? Find out whether your child is eligible for up to 15 hours a week of free learning and play - apply now for Haringey’s Free for 2s.
Please note: you will need an email address in order to make your application. This means we can email you with the outcome of your application and helps us to be low-paper or paper-free.
- Act now - places are limited
With Haringey’s Free for 2s, some two-year-olds can have a free early learning place in a nursery, children’s centre, playgroup or childminder, for up to 15 hours a week. Early learning is good for children’s social, physical and mental development and also helps them to prepare for school – giving your child the best start in life.
Please note: you can apply once your child is 1 year and 6 months old - however, they cannot start until the term after their second birthday. You can apply straight away if you have already missed the term your child could have started. See when can my child start below.
We will let you know within ten to fifteen working days of receiving your application whether your child can have a free place. We might ask you for more information, if necessary.
With Free for 2s, your child’s place of 15 hours per week will be completely free of charge to you – all money is paid directly from the council to the person or provider where your child has a place.
Providers are not allowed to charge you a registration fee or a deposit, or ask you to pay for uniforms, lunches or similar as a condition of your child taking up a place.
You need to think about how you want to spread the hours during the day and over a week. Here are some examples of how you could use your hours:
- 15 hours per week, during term time only – as 3 hours per day over 5 days, or 5 hours per day over 3 days
- 11.88 hours per week for 48 weeks of the year
- 11.40 hours per week for 50 weeks of the year
We recommend that you speak to your chosen childcare provider about the hours that they can offer you. We can’t guarantee you a place with your preferred provider, but you should be able to find something to suit you within the local area or the borough of your choice.
If you want a place for your child for more than 15 hours, you will need to ask your provider and you will need to pay for any extra hours.
Even if your circumstances change while your child has a place, your child will not lose their free place.
Look out for our Parent Champion volunteers who are out and about in the community talking to families about free early learning!
Lots of two-year-olds in Haringey are entitled to a free early learning place.
To be eligible for a free place, you must receive at least one of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
- Tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
- The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:
- Are looked after by a local authority
- Have a statement of special education needs - SEN (external link) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- Get Disability Living Allowance (external link)
- Have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order
If you’re a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits, your 2-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act (external link) and have either:
- Claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision - known as ‘part 6’ (external link)
- Been refused asylum in the UK - known as ‘section 4’
A 2-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have either:
- Leave to remain with ‘no recourse to public funds’ on family or private life grounds under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights - find out more on GOV.UK (external link)
- The right to live in the UK because you are the main carer of a British citizen - known as a ‘Zambrano Carer’ (external link)
A 2-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if you have:
- Leave to remain with ‘no recourse to public funds’ and in receipt of Section 17 support of the Children Act (1989)
If you do not meet the criteria for a Free for 2s place, there are other options available.
You can view your options here for free childcare by age of child and parental status.
You can download the list of providers who offer free early learning for two-year-olds (PDF, 96KB).
You’ll need to give the provider the letter or email we sent you saying you can have a free place. You can also use your eligibility letter in the borough of your choice - just check with the childcare provider that they are a registered free early learning provider for that borough.
The places in Haringey which offer free early learning include:
- Children’s centres
- Nursery classes in primary schools
- Playgroups and preschools
- Independent schools
You can find out more about different types of childcare providers on our childcare options page.
You may find it helpful to visit some providers, to help you decide where is best for your child. Recommendations from other parents can be helpful, but remember that each child is different, and what suits someone else’s child may not be right for yours.
All registered childcare providers are inspected every few years by Ofsted, who assess how well they are doing. You can see all the reports on the Ofsted website (external link), or you can ask the provider to show you their most recent report.
We can’t guarantee that your chosen provider will have a place available, or can provide the hours that you need, but you should find something to suit you within the local area or the borough of your choice.
- See the Family and Childcare Trust website (external link) for a guide on what to look for in a provider
If you need help finding a childcare place visit your nearest Children’s centre or you can call the council on 020 8489 1000.
If your child is eligible for Free for 2s, they can start the term after their second birthday - see the table below:
|If your child turns two between:||Your child can start from:|
|1 September to 31 December||1 January (Spring term)|
|1 January to 31 March||1 April (Summer term)|
|1 April to 31 August||1 September (Autumn term)|
Or you can use our ready reckoner, which works out the start date for you:
Please note: you can apply once your child is 1 year and 6 months old - however, they cannot start until the term after their second birthday - see table above. You can apply straight away if you have already missed the term your child could have started.
If you have any questions or would like any more information about free early learning you can contact us:
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By phone: 020 8489 1000
- In person: drop into your nearest children’s centre or local customer service centre
You can find out what help you can get with childcare costs on the government's Childcare Choices website (external link).
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