Free early learning for 2 year olds

Find out if your two year old is eligible for free early learning and how to apply for a place.

Apply for your free place

We've got some good news for twos and you. Some 2 year olds in Brighton & Hove are now entitled to receive up to 15 hours a week of free early learning, or 570 hours spread across the year.

Your child will meet other children, play, learn and have fun, and you will benefit from having time to yourself too.

Where your child can take up their free place

There are a wide range of early learning services offering free places that you can choose from, including childminders, childminder nurseries, day nurseries and pre-school playgroups. 

Find out if your child is eligible for a free place

Once your child is eligible for a place, they stay eligible, even if your circumstances change.

2 year old can get free early learning if you get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

2 year olds can also get free early learning if they:

  • are looked after by a local authority
  • have a statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • get Disability Living Allowance
  • have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

If you're a non-UK citizen who cannot claim benefits

If your immigration status says you have ‘no recourse to public funds’, you may still get free childcare for your 2-year-old

You must live in England and your household income must be no more than: 

  • £26,500 for families outside of London with one child 
  • £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children 

You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments. 

You will need to provide evidence if any of the above apply to you - see application form for details.

You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.

When your child will be eligible for their free place

Your child will be entitled to a free place from the term after their second birthday. You can check if your child is eligible for a place from the beginning of the term when your child turns 2.

Child's birthday falls between

They can start in their place from

1 January to 31 March The beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 August The beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 December The beginning of term on or after 1 January

Apply for a place

Complete the 2 year old application form and provide any evidence that we have requested. You can send your evidence to us by:

  • scanning a copy and email to us
  • photocopying your letter and posting to us at;  Freepost FREE CHILDCARE (no stamp required)
  • contacting us to arrange a time and place to meet and copy your original documents

If you have more than one child, please complete a separate form for each. We will then check if your child is eligible for a place and let you know.

If you have any questions, or need help to complete the form, you can call our helpline on 01273 293545 Monday to Friday 9am to 4:30pm.