Manchester City Council

Schools, education & childcare Free childcare

Free childcare if your child is two

If your child is two, you could get 15 hours of free childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year.

To qualify the child must:

You do not need to live in the area covered by Manchester Council to claim.

If you live in the area covered by Manchester Council but want your child to go to a childcare provider outside this area, please contact the relevant council.

To qualify you must also receive one of the following:
  • The Working Tax Credit - as long as you don't earn more than £16,190 a year gross (including your partner's income)
  • The Working Tax Credit four-week run-on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Child Tax Credit - as long as you don't earn more than £16,190 a year gross (including your partner's income)
  • 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
  • Universal Credit
  • A current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan; or
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) for your child.

You do not need to receive one of the benefits if the child is: looked after by the council; has left care through special guardianship, an adoption order or a residence order; or is a  registered asylum seeker.

You can claim up to 15 hours free childcare each week during term-time.  Or, if you want to claim less than 15 hours per week, you can spread the total over a longer period.

When you can claim

You can claim when your child turns two. The date you can claim depends on their birthday.

  • If their birthday is between 1 January and 31 March, claim at the beginning of the term which starts on or after 1 April
  • If their birthday is between 1 April and 31 August, claim at the beginning of the term which starts on or after 1 September
  • If their birthday is between 1 September and 31 December, claim at the beginning of the term which starts on or after 1 January

How to claim

Contact the childcare provider where you want your child to go. See a list of eligible eligible childcare providers.

They will ask for evidence of the benefit you are getting.

The staff at any Sure Start centre can help you with your application.

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