Two, three and four year old funding

Did you know you may be able to access free childcare for two year olds? Three and four year olds are all eligible for free childcare.

The Starting Life Well Service manages the funding from the government that supports free places for some two year olds. There is also universal funding for all three and four year olds.

To check if you can get the funding for the free early education and childcare you should read the essential application criteria to check if you will meet the eligibility criteria before submitting your application.

The aim of the funding is:

  • To improve outcomes for parents by supporting them to take up training or go back to work
  • To improve learning outcomes for two year olds in order to close the gap between those children living in the most disadvantaged communities

How many hours can I access?

Up to 15 hours of free childcare maybe accessed term time only (38 weeks of the year) or up to 11 hours per week (51 weeks of the year). Please note this will be subject to your preferred childcare providers' opening times and availability.

That's 15 hours a week of playing, painting, reading, cooking, climbing, singing, dancing, dressing up, running around, building, gardening - whatever activity children like to do and most of all your child is learning with other children.

It's also 15 hours a week for you - to have a break, study or look for work.

Who provides the free childcare?

Salford has lots of good quality childcare providers. The two year old funding can only be taken with childcare providers who are on Salford's approved list to deliver free childcare sessions for two year olds. You may have some choice as to how and where you take your free childcare place, but this does depend on who has vacancies and how they can be delivered. There are a large number of childcare providers across Salford who offer the funding. You can search for childcare by using our online childcare search or you can contact us and we will help you choose which provider can best meet your child's needs.

Once your child has a place and you are happy with the placement your child will remain with that childcare provider, as they will automatically be transferred over to the funding for three and four year olds, even if your circumstances change, for example you return to work.

Important points to note before you make your application:

  • The application form requires details of the person who is claiming the tax credits and/or benefits and has parental responsibility
  • If you are applying for more than one child such as twins, triplets, please complete one application form and put all children's names in the required section stating relationship 
  • You must ensure you give us accurate information, for example, your National Insurance number, your date of birth and address details
  • Don't apply too early as your application will be declined check details below
  • Children who are aged two between April and August apply in June
  • Children who are aged two between September and December apply in October
  • Children who are aged two between January and March apply in January
  • Please ensure you provide us with your most up to date telephone number and email address (if appropriate)
  • If your application is successful you have 28 days from when we contact you to find a childcare provider - remember you can search for childcare online.

What else do I need to know?

How to apply for the funding

Apply for funding online.

Please be sure to check your email regularly as we will make contact with you regarding this application via the email address you give us. We advise you to check your spam and/or junk mail folder as sometimes messages from us can end up there also.

Visit Speak Up Salford for information for parents and professionals on children's speech, language and communication skills.

Who to contact

Starting Life Well
Unity House
Chorley Road
M27 5AW
Map to this location
0161 909 6508

This page was last updated on 22 December 2015

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