Eligible two-year olds in Medway are entitled to receive up to 15 hours funded early education each week during term times, by attending any one of the registered pre-schools, nurseries, or childminders in Medway.
The full entitlement of free hours can be taken over a minimum of two days varying from as little as two and a half hours up to a maximum of 10 hours a day (dependent on the providers opening hours).
Fees for any additional time are a private matter between parents and providers, although your provider should let you know of any cost before you take up the place.
How do I know my child is eligible
Your child may be eligible for some free early education if your family is getting 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 and have an annual income of £16,190 a year or less
- Working Tax Credits and earn £16,190 a year or less
- the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
Children are also entitled to a place if:
- they’re looked after by a local council
- they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education health and care plan
- they get Disability Living Allowance
- they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
You can check if you’re eligible by applying online. If you require help completing the form, contact your local Children's Centre where a member of staff will be able to assist you. At the end of the online application you will be provided with a code and some information about whether you are eligible or not. If you are eligible the code should be given to the childcare setting where you choose to place your child. The childcare setting will then submit the code to confirm your child’s eligibility.
Alternatively you can contact the Family Information Service on 01634 335566 for an Eligibility form to be sent to you. They will carry out the necessary checks and inform you of any entitlement with a letter in the post. If you are entitled the letter will contain the reference number that is required by the childcare provider.
What do I need to do
Once you have received confirmation you will need to find a place for your child at either a local pre-school, nursery or with an accredited childminder. You should take your confirmation to your chosen setting along with your child’s birth certificate.
If you have lost your confirmation letter, you should contact Medway Council on 01634 335566. We will send you a duplicate of your letter in the post.
When can my child access their free place
- A child born on or between 1 April and 31 August will become eligible for a free place from 1 September following their second birthday.
- A child born on or between 1 September and 31 December will become eligible for a free place from 1 January following their second birthday.
- A child born on or between 1 January and 31 March will become eligible for a free place from 1 April following their second birthday.