Free Childcare Places

Research shows good quality early learning helps children:

  • Develop new skills
  • Learn to make new friends
  • Prepare for school
  • Experience exciting new activities like playing with sand and water which may not be so readily available to do at home 

Click here for further information and to check if you are eligible


Free Early Education For 2 Year Olds

Did you know that your 2 year old could qualify for 15 hours of FREE childcare?

Eligible children who are 2 years old can access good quality early education registered with OFSTED for up to 15 hours a week free of charge at Canterbury Nursery School.

To qualify for a free place for a 2 Year old you must evidence that you are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job-seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The 'Guaranteed' element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit with earnings from employment are below £16,190 (as evidenced by your most recent final tax credit statement)
  • Working Tax Credit and whose earning from employment are below £16,190 (as evidenced by your most recent final tax credit statement)
  • 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)

or if your child:

  • is a looked after child
  • has left care - a child who has left care through a child arrangement order (formerly known as special guardianship) or an adoption or residence order
  • has special educational needs, and/or disabilities - but only if he/she has a current SEN statement or an Education, Health and Care plan or receives Disability Living Allowance

For families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) your family's annual household income must be no higher than the following:

  • £26,500 for families with one child
  • £30,600 for families with two or more children

You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.


Free Early Education For  3 & 4 Year Olds 

Did you know ALL 3 & 4 year olds are entitled to a FREE Early Education place of 15 hours each week?

Spaces are available at Canterbury Nursery School.

Who can access free Early Education?

  • A child born between 1st April and 31st August will be eligible for a free place from the start of the Autumn Term following their 3rd birthday
  • A child born between 1st September and 31st December will be eligible for a free place from start of the Spring term following their 3rd birthday
  • A child born between 1st January and 31st March will be eligible for a free place from the start of the Summer Term following their 3rd birthday

Why is Early Education good for your child?

  • Helps increase confidence and communication
  • Helps them to make friends, work together and be independent
  • Helps them to make sense of the world through new and exciting experiences
  • Helps prepare them for school

30 Hours Free Childcare

Did you know that your 3 TO 4 year old could qualify for 30 hours of FREE childcare?

If you’re eligible for the extra hours, you sign up online to get a code to give to your childcare provider to reserve your place. You’ll get the extra hours once the next term starts.

Eligibility: You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:

  • in work - or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave
  • each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week - this is £125.28 if you’re over 25

This earnings limit does not apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.

You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits or childcare vouchers.

You’re not eligible if:

  • your child does not usually live with you
  • the child is your foster child
  • either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000
  • you’re from outside the EEA and your UK residence card says you cannot access public funds
  • If you cannot work

You may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

Click here to apply for 30 hours free childcare

You’ll need your details (and your partner’s, if you have one), including your:

  • National Insurance number
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re self-employed 


Childcare Support is Expanding

With significant changes coming to 30 hours childcare support in England and Universal Credit for Childcare in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Read more on the upcoming changes.