Free childcare for two year olds

Two year olds who live in Wirral may be eligible for 15 hours free childcare per week, which adds up to 570 hours per year.

The funding can be used in a day nursery, a pre-school, or with a child minder rated good or outstanding.

If your child meets the criteria, the funding can be used the term after their second birthday. Please see below for term dates.

Applications can only be made from the term before your child would be eligible.


Apply for early years funding

Applications can be completed by the parent or carer of the child or a professional working with the family. Please note you will need to know the parent or carers details.

Who is eligible for funding?

Your two year old will be eligible for funding if you receive:

  • Universal Credit, if a parent is entitled to Universal Credit you must have a household annual income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400, assessed on up to three of the parent's most recent Universal Credit assessment periods.
  • Tax Credits, provided you have a household annual income not exceeding £16,190
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Your two year old may also be eligible for funding (depending on your household income) if you receive:
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit run-on, which is paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Children are also eligible if:

  • they have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they’ve left care in England or Wales through an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order
  • Children of Zambrano Carers with a net household income not exceeding £15,400
  • Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR);
  • Children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 – ‘the 1999 Act’).

When you can claim

Applications can only be made the term before your child would be eligible to claim.

  • children become eligible from the term after their second birthday.
  • children born between 1 January and 31 March become eligible in April (Summer Term – Apply from 1 January)
  • children born between 1 April and 31 August become eligible in September (Autumn Term – Apply From 1 April)
  • children born between 1 September and 31 December become eligible in January (Spring Term – Apply from 1 September)

If you make a successful claim then you do not need to reapply.

You will need to tell HMRC when you get free childcare. Call the Tax Credit Helpline.

For further information contact or 0151 606 2000.

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