Free education for 2 year olds

What's on offer?

Eligible children are entitled to 15 hours a week of free education during school term times with a childcare provider of your choice. This could be a child-minder, nursery or pre-school/playgroup, and some schools also provide places.  

Free places should be taken at a good or outstanding OfSTED graded setting to ensure the best care and learning opportunities for your child. The Family Service Directory offers more information about finding local childcare, just input your home postcode or town.

For more information see our easy to read PDF DocumentNEF leaflet (172 KB)

The benefits

The scheme could be your ticket to improve your life, as well as supporting your child’s learning and development.  Find out more about the benefits.

Are you eligible?

If the family claims any one of the following, the answer is yes:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Child Tax Credit and have an Annual income not over £16,190 (CTC)
  • Working Tax Credit and have an Annual income not over £16,190 (WTC)
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • 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 eligible if they:

  • Have a current statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) *
  • Attract Disability Living Allowance (DLA) *
  • They are Looked after by their Local Authority
  • Have left care through special guardianship or through an adoption or residence order *

* Documentation will be required as proof where an application is made against these additional criteria. Copies of the documentation can be posted or emailed to the Think2 Team.

Please note: If your circumstances change your funded place will not be taken away.

Please ensure you have printer capabilities before you start your application as you will need to print off your voucher to take along to your chosen childcare provider. If you supply a valid email address, and you have given consent, a copy of the voucher will be forwarded to you via email. If you do not have a printer, please contact the team on 01785 278201.

When will your child be eligible?

Born betweenFree places can start from
1st January - 31st March Summer term (from 1st April)
1st April - 31st August Autumn term (from 1st September)
1st September - 31st December Spring term (from 1st January)

How to apply

The quickest and easiest way is to apply online.

Or print out, complete and return the PDF Documentapplication form (2.17 MB) to the address below:

Staffordshire Think2 Central Team,
Tipping Street,
ST16 2DH 

If you have any questions please contact us.

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