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Did you know that some two year olds maybe able to get up to 15 hours of free childcare? This is known as Time for Twos in Dudley.

You can apply for a Time for Twos place for your child as soon as they have had their second birthday.

Eligibility for two-year-olds

Two-year-olds are eligible for 15 hours of free early years provision if:

  • The parent(s) claim one of the following benefits:
    • Income Support
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
    • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Universal Credit – For places starting in the summer term of 2018 (on or after 1st April 2018), or any subsequent term, if a parent is entitled to Universal Credit they must have an annual net earned 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 and they have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
    • 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)
  • the child has a statement of special educational needs made under section 324 of the Education Act 1996;
  • the child has an Education, Health and Care plan prepared under section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014;
  • the child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance under section 71 of the Social Security and Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;
  • they are looked after by a local authority (under section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989) or by a local authority in Wales within the meaning given by section 74(1) of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
  • they are no longer looked after by a local authority as a result of an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangement order (within the meaning of section 8(1) of the Children Act 1989 or section 74(1) of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014) which relates to either or both of the following
    • with whom the child is to live;
    • when the child is to live with any person.

Eligibility for three-year-olds in addtion to two-year-olds

Three-year-olds (and two-year-olds who meet the eligibility criteria below) are entitled to 15 hours of free early years provision from the start of the term beginning on or following the date set out below:

  • Children born in the period 1st January to 31st March: 1st April following the child’s third birthday, or second birthday, as applicable
  • Children born in the period 1st April to 31st August: 1st September following the child’s third birthday, or second birthday, as applicable
  • Children born in the period 1st September to 31st December: 1st January following the child’s third birthday, or second birthday, as applicable

These dates are consistent with those used for determining the start of compulsory education.

In addition

Dudley will continue to offer priority to children who;

  • are subject to child protection or child in need plans, if they also meet the mandatory financial criteria above.

The free childcare place runs for three terms until your child moves in to their free early education place the term after their third birthday.

If your child has their second birthday between You can apply online for a two year old place in; (you will not be able to proceed with an application until your child has had their second birthday) Your two year old funding will start in
January - March January (the term in which your child has their second birthday) April
April - August April (the term in which your child has their second birthday) September
September - December September (the term in which your child has their second birthday) January

How much free childcare can my child have?

The government have produced an EE Choice Framework Guide which explains how and where your child can take up their funded 2 year old place, information which may help you decide where your child will take up their place and how to make a complaint if you are not offered a choice.

All providers must ensure that they can offer each child a session of at least three hours per day, as a minimum.

Read more about session length.

To find out which childcare providers are able to offer free childcare places please contact the Family Information Service on 01384 814398/9

If you want further information about free two, three and four year old places please contact the Dudley Childcare helpline on 01384 814291.