If your child is aged two and is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and/or has a My Plan+, they are entitled to FREE early learning at a nursery, childminder, playgroup or children's centre. The place is for 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year.
Your child can take up a place at the beginning of the term following their second birthday. Before you start, you will need a letter or email of confirmation from the Family Information Service to show to the childcare provider, which confirms your eligibility for the funding.
For full details of how to apply for a free place, contact the Family Information Service on 0800 542 02 02 or 01452 427362.
All 3 and 4 year old children are also entitled to this funding.
How do I claim the 15 hours a week of free childcare?
When you have found a place at a nursery, childminder, pre-school playgroup or children's centre, talk to them about taking up the free hours. Once you have a confirmed place with a childcare provider, it will be their responsibility to complete the necessary paperwork for the council, who pay for the free places. As a parent, you do not need to apply directly for the funding (which is different to the two year old funding) and you should not be charged for these free hours. If you wish to use the nursery or childminder for more than 15 hours a week and they have a space, you can choose to pay for more time to suit your family's needs.
The Family and Childcare Trust produce an information booklet for parents entitled "Guide to childcare for children with special educational needs and disabilities". The booklet is free to parents who can obtain a copy by emailling firstname.lastname@example.org or open the link on the right hand side of this page.