Free childcare places for 2-year-olds

A promotional video has been put together to give an overview of the Two Year Old Early Education Offer

Is your child approaching their 2nd birthday?

They may be eligible for a free part-time place in a high quality childcare setting, known as the two year old early learning education offer.

Your Health Visiting Team, Social Worker or any member of the Early Years’ Service can discuss with you the benefits of your child taking up a free part-time childcare place.

Places will be provided in local childcare settings (including childminders and some schools from September 14). All providers will have received a good or outstanding Ofsted report.  All childcare providers participate in Knowsley Council’s Quality Assurance Scheme.

Your child can attend 15 hours per week over 38 weeks (school term times) or 11½ hours per week spread over 50 weeks including school holidays.

Who is eligible to be considered for a free place?

If you claim any of these benefits, you may be entitled to a free place:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Families in receipt of Universal Credit
  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and have an annual income not over £16,190
  • You get Working Tax Credits and earn no more than £16,190 a year, (please refer to your Tax credit breakdown TC602)
  • The child has a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care plan
  • The child receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • The child has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order

Children offered a place will automatically be registered with the local Early Years’ Service and families will be able to benefit from a range of services available there.

Children who are accessing a two year old place will then move automatically onto their three year old funded entitlement in a private and voluntary nursery or school, which is available for a maximum of 15 hours a week. This transition will be carefully planned and managed to meet each child’s individual needs.

How to apply for your child’s free place

To apply for a place, complete the online form Health Visiting Teams, Social Workers, Family Support Workers, Early Years’ service and Special Education needs/Disability Link Workers can provide advice about how this may benefit your child.  If you need help applying online please call our Early Years Placement Officer on 0151 443 5692. 
If you need further information or assistance in finding a childcare place please call the Knowsley Early Years Childcare & Family Information Service on 0800 085 2022 (option 1) or 0151 443 5635 or email

Once your online application has been processed you will receive an eligibility reference code which you can take to your chosen provider.  If there are any queries regarding your application the Early Years Team will contact you.