Eligible children can have up to 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year (school term time). Some childcare providers offer free hours in the school holidays, for example children could have 11 hours each week for up to 51 weeks of the year.

Watch our Video about the benefits of free learning and childcare

You can get free places from a range of learning and childcare providers including:

  • Childminders
  • Day nurseries
  • Pre-schools and playgroups
  • Schools with nursery provision

This is known as approved childcare.

Is my child eligible for a free place?

Yes if you receive one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit - if you and your partner are on a low income from work (this usually means a combined income of less than £15,400 a year after tax)
  • Tax credits and you have an annual household income of under £16,191 before tax
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • support through part 6 of the immigration and Asylum Act
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for working tax credit)

A child can also get free early learning and childcare if any of the following apply:

  • They're looked after by a local council
  • They have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • They get disability living allowance
  • They've left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
  • Has a child protection or child in need plan

Apply for free learning and childcare

Only complete this form if your child was born between 01/09/2016 and 31/12/2017

Paperclip To complete this form you will need to log in or create an account on the Parent Portal and provide the following:

  • Your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance Number or National Asylum Support Service (NASS) Number
  • Child's name and date of birth

Clock Completing this form takes around 10 minutes

Apply online

If your child receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA), has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), has left care through a Special Guardianship order, Child Arrangements order or Adoption or has a Child Protection or Child in Need Plan please Contact the Kirklees Family Information Service (FIS) to apply.

After you have applied

When your child can start their free place
If your child's 2nd birthday is between Their free place can start from
1 January and 31 March The start of the Summer term beginning on or after 1 April
1 April and 31 August The start of the Autumn term beginning on or after 1 September
1 September and 31 December The start of the Spring term beginning on or after 1 January

Help with childcare costs

Find out what other Help you could get with childcare costs. .

If you are not satisfied with your child's free early education and care place

  1. Your childcare provider should have a clear complaints procedure made available to all parents which should also include a procedure for parents who are not satisfied their child has received their free early education entitlement in the correct way, by this we mean in accordance with the law or as set out in the current Early Education and Childcare Statutory guidance for Local Authorities.
  2. If you have made a complaint to your childcare provider about your child's free early education entitlement and the matter has not been resolved with your provider then you can make a complaint to the Council, in writing, to the Service Director for Learning and Early Support, Directorate for Children and Young People, Civic Centre 3, Market Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2EY or send an email to: Email earlyeducation@kirklees.gov.uk
  3. The Council will investigate your complaint and provide a written response within a reasonable timeframe.
  4. If you are not satisfied with the way in which your complaint has been dealt with by the Council or believe the Council has acted unreasonably, you can make a complaint to the Local Authority Ombudsman . Such complaints will only be considered when the local complaints procedures have been exhausted.

Contact the Family Information Service (FIS)