Unauthorised encampment - Hillfield Park, Brick Kiln Lane entrance

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Free Childcare Places for 2 year olds

How do I know if I am eligible for a free childcare place for my child?

Click on the button to make an online application.

Online application

This will link you to our Parent Portal where you can apply for a free 2 year old childcare place.

You will be eligible for a free childcare place of up to 15 hours per week term time only if your family receive at least one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit with a gross annual income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on
  • Universal Credit (please contact the Family Information Service on 0800 389 8667 if you receive this benefit as paper evidence is required)

What if I don’t receive one of the above benefits?

If you care for a 2 year old child who meets any of the criteria below they will also be eligible for a funded childcare place if:

  • child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • child has a current Statement of Special Educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • child is Looked After by the Local Authority
  • child has left Local Authority Care through Special Guardianship Order, Adoption or Child Arrangement Order

To make an application based upon these criteria please call the Family Information Service directly on 0800 389 8667.

Frequently Asked Questions

I live outside the borough but I want my child to attend a Solihull childcare setting. How do I apply for a funded 2 year old place?

As you want your child to attend a childcare setting in Solihull, you should apply to Solihull MBC.

I live in Solihull but I want my child to attend an out of borough childcare setting. How do I apply for a funded 2 year old place?

You will need to apply to the Local Authority for that area e.g. Birmingham Council if the nursery is in Birmingham.

When is my child able to start?

The earliest we can check eligibility for 2 year old funding is during the term that your child turns 2. If your child is approved for a place they can start the following term. Please see dates below:

A child who is 2 years old between: Can access their place from the following:
1 April and 31 August September term
1 September and 31 December January term
1 January and 31 March April term

How much will it cost?

If your application for a free place is approved and you attend for no more than 15 hours per week, term time only, you will not have to pay anything. If your child attends for more than 15 hours per week you will need to pay the childcare setting for the additional hours.

Where can I go for my place?

You can take up your free place at an approved Solihull Day Nursery, Pre-school or Childminder. A list of approved childcare settings will be sent to you if your application is successful.

How do I choose a childcare setting?

For more information on how to choose an appropriate setting for your child please view the fact sheets below:

Can my child do less than 15 hours per week?

You can choose to access fewer hours if you would like to, but the number of hours you choose must remain the same for that whole term. Your childcare setting may be able to stretch your hours so that your child attends for fewer hours per week but for more weeks out of term time. Please speak to your childcare setting directly about stretching your hours.

Will I be required to provide proof of benefits when I make a claim?

When you make a claim online you will only be asked to provide proof of benefits if you receive Disability Living Allowance for your child. Your entitlement will be checked against our Eligibility Checking Service which is provided by the Department for Education but this does not check if you are receiving DLA.

How will I be advised of the outcome of my online application?

When your application has been processed you will be sent an email to advise you of the outcome. If you do not receive an email within 5 working days, please contact Solihull Family Information Service. Please remember to check your junk / spam email folder just in case the email has been redirected incorrectly.

Do I have the opportunity to appeal if my online application is unsuccessful?

If you are unsuccessful but feel you do meet the benefits criteria you can contact the Family Information Service who can help you with any queries you may have regarding your claim.

Will this affect the other benefits I receive?

For most people there will be no affect on any other benefits. Occasionally receiving a funded 2 year old childcare place can affect other benefits you receive as the free place is classed as a benefit. You will need to notify tax credits and housing benefit of any changes to your benefits and they will then advise you of any changes should you take up the funded place.

To find out more information on the 30 hours per week of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds please visit the Gov.uk website.

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