Free nursery places
Free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds
For two year olds
Warrington Borough Council is able to fund a limited number of two year olds to attend nursery for 15 hours per week, usually term time only.
What is it?
The two year old free entitlement is a new initiative by the government. It means that free nursery places are available to a limited number of two year olds from the first day of the new term following their second birthday.
The child would receive up to 15 hours free early years education per week at a provider that is registered with Warrington Borough Council:
- Private nursery
- Maintained nursery school/class
- Childminder (that has attained good or above Ofsted outcome)
Who can get a place?
Children may be eligible for 15 free hours per week of early years education from the term after their second birthday. Not every child is entitled to receive a free place. You will need to meet one or more of the following criteria for your child to be eligible for a free place.
- Income support
- Income based jobseekers allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- The guaranteed element of state pension credit
- Child tax credit or working tax credit and have an annual gross income below £16,190 (as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). Families in receipt of working tax credit must submit a copy of their current TC602 form received from HM Inspector of Taxes dated within the last 12 months
- Working tax credit ‘run-on’ the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for working tax credit
- If the two year old has a current statement of SEN or an education, health and care plan
- If the two year old attracts disability living allowance (families must submit copy of their current award letter received from Department of Work and Pensions dated within the last 12 months)
- If the two year old is looked after by their local authority
- If the two year old has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
This is assessed by checking through a Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs checking system. Warrington has no influence over the outcome of this checking process.
What the two year funding offer covers
Up to 15 hours per week free early years education up to a maximum entitlement of 570 hours over a year, at a provision registered to deliver two year funding with Warrington Borough Council.
How to apply
If you think you meet any of the above criteria, please contact the families information service on 01925 443322 for an application form.
Return the completed form to the free early years entitlement team via the freepost address.
The two year funding will finish at the end of the term that the child becomes three and then they will be able to access the three year funding, which is available to all children for 15 hours per week, usually in term time.
How to use your hours:
- The 15 hours must be used over a minimum of two days per week for the full entitlement
- A minimum of two and a half hours and a maximum of ten hours can be accessed in any one day, subject to availability with the provider
- The hours must be used between 8am and 6pm.
For more information download a copy of the two year old leaflet [pdf].
What is the free early years entitlement?
Free nursery places (known as the free early years entitlement or FEYE) means that places are available to all three and four year old children from the first day of the new term following their third birthday.
Each child is entitled to receive up to 15 hours free early years education per week at a private nursery, pre-school, maintained nursery school/class or accredited childminder in Warrington. The provider must be registered with Warrington Borough Council.
The two year old free entitlement is a new initiative by the government. It means that free nursery places are available to a limited number of two year old children. For more information please visit the free two year old nursery places section.
When can I use it?
The FEYE funds a maximum of 15 hours per week usually for 38 weeks per year, over three terms; summer, autumn and spring, usually term time only, or stretched i.e. use less hours over more weeks if requested by the parent.
Term start dates
- Spring term - 1 January
- Summer term - 1 April
- Autumn term - 1 September
For example, if your child is three on 17 April 2014 they will be entitled to free early years entitlement from 1 September 2014.
Similarly if your child's third birthday is on 9 September 2014 they will be entitled to free early years entitlement from 1 January 2015.
Where can I get free nursery places?
Up to 15 hours per week free early years education up to a maximum entitlement of 570 hours over a year, at a childcare provider registered with the information and childcare team. These include:
- Maintained nursery classes (nursery schools)
- Sandy Lane Nursery and Forest School
- Private day nurseries
- Childminders (that have attained good or above Ofsted outcome).
How do I find a provider?
To find a childcare provider who is registered for FEYE:
Visit the family services directory
Or enter a postcode to find your nearest childcare provider:
Check that the childcare provider you want to use is registered to offer the free early years entitlement (you can do this by asking the provider or by contacting the Families Information Service
How can I use the hours?
- The 15 hours must be used over at least two days per week for the full entitlement
- A minimum of 2.5 hours and a maximum of 10 hours can be used in any one day
- The hours must be used between the times 7am and 7pm, usually term time only, or stretched i.e. use less hours over more weeks if requested by the parent
- You can take all the hours at one childcare provider or spread them between two childcare providers
- The usual number of hours to be claimed for the summer term is 180 hours, for autumn term 210 hours and for the spring term 180 hours.
Information on all nurseries in Warrington who provide free childcare places including their opening hours can be found on the family services directory.
How do I claim?
- Check that the childcare provider you want to use is registered to offer the free nursery places
- If they are, contact the provider direct to see if they have vacancies and if so they will ask you to complete a parental agreement form agreeing to accept a funded place for your child
- Please be aware that claiming FEYE may affect your tax credits claim for the childcare element of working tax credit.
Childcare costs after the free allocation has been used
The local authority pays the FEYE funding directly to the childcare provider. If your child attends for more than the 15 hours you will have to pay the childcare provider directly for those extra hours.
Costs vary at different childcare providers. You can take a look at the provider's information on the family information services directory, which also has their contact details if you need any more information.
You can view each childcare provider's latest inspection report on the Ofsted website.