Free early education for 2 year olds

Herefordshire Council provides free early education for eligible 2 year old children who attend early years provision within Herefordshire.

All early education providers are required to have clear and transparent information about how they offer the free hours. This will include information about any charges for using additional hours or services. Speak to your early education provider to find out more.

Who is eligible for 2 year old funding?

Your 2 year old may be eligible for free early education if you live in England and receive 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)

Additional criteria

Children are also entitled to a free place if:

  • They are looked after by Herefordshire Council
  • They have a statement of special education needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • They get Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • They have left care under a Special Guardianship Order, Child Arrangements Order or Adoption Order

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

Your 2 year old may get free early education if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and have either:

  • Claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision (known as 'part 6')
  • Been refused asylum in the UK (known as 'section 4')

A 2 year old you care for may also get free early education if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have any of the following:

  • Leave to remain with 'no recourse to public funds' on family or private life grounds
  • Support from your local council because you have 'a child in need', for example they have a disability or a child protection plan
  • The right to live in the UK because you're the main carer of a British citizen (known as a 'Zambrano Carer')

Apply for free early education for your 2 year old

Check your eligibility for free early education for your two year old and apply online

Alternatively you can complete a paper application form and return it, along with any the appropriate evidence showing which benefits you receive to Education and Commissioning Business Support Team, Herefordshire Council, Plough Lane Offices, Plough Lane, Hereford HR4 0LE.

Downloadable application form for free early education for your two year old

For further information please see our 2 year old funding FAQs.