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Free early education places for all three and four year olds

3s and 4s clock logo

All three and four year olds are entitled to a free, good quality early education place from the term after their third birthday.

This free early education place runs for two years until the child reaches compulsory school age, in the term after their fifth birthday.

A free early education place can be accessed in maintained school nurseries or in the private or voluntary sector day nurseries and pre-schools and with registered childminders

When does my child qualify for their free early education place for three and four year olds? 

A child born between: Will be eligible for a free place from:
1st April and 31st August
(inclusive)
The start of the autumn term following their 3rd birthday until compulsory school age
1st September and 31st December (inclusive) The start of the spring term following their 3rd birthday until compulsory school age
1st January and 31st March
(inclusive)
The start of the summer term following their 3rd birthday until compulsory school age

 

*Although the actual term dates vary from year to year to accommodate national holidays such as Easter, which moves each year, term dates to determine eligibility remain constant.