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


  • your child was born between 01/01/2015 and 31/03/2016

If you’re eligible the free early learning and childcare:

  • must be with an approved childcare provider.

Apply for free learning and childcare

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

  • Parents/guardian's National Insurance Number or National Asylum Support Service (NASS) Number
  • Name and date of birth of the child.

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 eligible children 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

A-Z list of schools, term dates, opening times, closures and admission area maps

Help with childcare costs

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

Contact the Family Information Service (FIS)