Childcare Funding

Free 15 hours for two year olds

Families in England may be eligible for up to 15 hours of free childcare for their two-year-old if they meet the eligibility criteria:

Eligibility Criteria

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Universal Credit net earnings threshold of £15,400 - To note, a typical family earning around this threshold, depending on their exact circumstances would have a total income of between £24,000 and £32,000

  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit

  • Support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • Child Tax Credit and have an annual household income of less than £16,190

  • Working Tax Credit and have an annual household income of less than £16,190

Children are also eligible if they;

  • are looked after by the local authority

  • have left care through special guardianship, an adoption or residence order.

  • receive Disability Living Allowance

  • has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) will also be eligible.

If eligible, you can take up your entitlement the term after your child’s second birthday. Times and days are dependants on the childcare providers availability and their free entitlement offer.

How to apply?

To check your eligibility, (based on the financial criteria) and apply for the free childcare entitlement for your two-year-old please visit Sutton’s Parent Portal to complete an online application.  

If eligible, you will receive an email confirmation letter, that you will need to take to your chosen childcare provider to access a free childcare place.

If you meet the non-financial criteria, please provide evidence of eligibility, such as DLA award letter or adoption certificate to your chosen childcare provider.

Further information on the Parent Portal is available on the ‘welcome to  parent portal’ page

Where can I use the free childcare?

The entitlement can be used at any Ofsted registered childcare provider, that had agreed with the local authority to deliver the free entitlements, such as:

  • Childminder

  • Day Nursery

  • Preschools

  • Schools

A list of childcare providers in Sutton that offer free childcare places for two-year-olds can be found on in the Family Information Service directory. Many providers will have a waiting list, so you are advised to contact your chosen provider at the earliest opportunity.

For support on using the Parent Portal or for support to access your free childcare entitlement, please contact Sutton’s Family Information Service 020 8770 6000 or visit your local Children Centre.

Further Information

The free entitlement funding is paid to directly to the childcare provider. In order for the provider to claim the funding, they will ask you to complete a parent declaration form and to see a copy of your confirmation letter.

The free childcare entitlement, funded by the government, is intended to cover the cost of childcare and education, it is not intended to cover the costs of meals, consumables or additional hours and services. Some providers may charge for these additions. If you choose to pay for these additional extras, this is an arrangement between you and the provider. Nevertheless, a provider cannot make these extras a condition to you accessing your free childcare entitlement. Please ensure you check what is available at your chosen provider prior to starting a free childcare place.

For more information contact the Family Information Service on 020 8770 6000.

For information on all the support available to help families with the cost of childcare see www.childcarechoices.gov.uk