Free early education and childcare for two-year-olds

Free early education and childcare for two-year-olds


Hundreds of two-year-olds in West Sussex already receive free early education through a scheme  launched nationally by the Government this month. 

Around 20 per cent of two-year-olds in the county are eligible to receive up to 570 hours per year of free education and care with a registered nursery, pre-school or childminder.

The scheme expands the ‘Free Entitlement’ sessions which have been available to all three and four year olds for some time.

In West Sussex around 850 two-year-olds are already signed up to the scheme, which was introduced early to families who were identified as meeting the criteria.

West Sussex County Council’s Family Information Service now urges people to check if they qualify for the free childcare. Families that are eligible for free school meals will qualify, as will many other children.

West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, Peter Evans, said: “Many families are already seeing the difference a good early education can make to a child’s development.

“It not only helps with a child’s learning and social skills, it also helps them prepare for the big step of starting school for the first time.

“And of course the scheme has the added benefit of being a great financial help to many families.”

To find out if you’re eligible for the two-year-old funding, or to find out about nurseries, pre-schools or childminders in your area, contact the Family Information Service on 01243 777807 or email

To find out if you’re eligible for free school meals visit the County Council School meals page.

Further information on any of this can also be found on the County Council website or by asking at your local Children and Family Centre.