Free early education for two year old children

What is free early education?

Free early education introduces your child to learning through play based activities in a childcare setting such as a nursery, childminder or children’s centre before they start school.

Are all two year old children entitled to receive the funding?

At the moment the Government is funding free early education for some 2 year old children. There are eligibility criteria based on your child’s or your family’s circumstances.  Either criteria can apply and qualify your child for free early education. Find out more information on the criteria.

What is my child entitled to?

If your child is eligible, they can access up to 570 hours per year of free early education from the term after their second birthday. The minimum hours that can be taken per day is 2.5.  The maximum hours that can be taken per day is 10. Early years providers offer various models of flexibility. You will need to check directly with your preferred provider if they can offer the attendance pattern that you require for your child.

How can I apply for free early education for my child?

You will need to apply online at Blackburn with Darwen's Parent Portal. For further information see the flowchart which helps you through the application process step by step.

Your application will be processed and your eligibility for the funded place will be checked.

If your child is eligible you will receive a letter from us telling you that funding for your child has been approved.  You must take this letter to the childcare setting where you would like your child to receive early education when you visit them to discuss a place.

If you need help to find a suitable place for your child please contact the families information service on (01254) 667877 or email  The families information service can provide you with contact details of eligible childcare providers near to where you live or work.​​​

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