Accessibility Statement
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Free Early Education/Childcare Places for 2 Year Olds in Tameside

You may be entitled to 15 hours of flexible early education for up to 38 weeks completely free of charge if you are in receipt one of the following eligible benefits:

  • Income support
  • Income-based job seekers’ allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit - if you and your partner have a combined income from work of £15,400 or less a year, after tax
  • The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit (or both), and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
Your 2 Year Old may also be eligible if they meet the criteria listed below:
Please note – For the criteria listed below, further information / confirmation will be required to support your application.  It is therefore advised to contact Families Information Service on 0161 342 4260 to submit your application.
  • the local authority has parental responsibility for a child – a  ‘Cared for Child’ subject to a care order
  • your child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • your child receives Disability Living allowance (DLA)
  • your child has left care through special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
If you’re a non- UK citizen who cannot claim benefits:
If your immigration status says you have ‘no recourse to public funds’, you may still get free childcare for your 2-year-old. You must live in England and your household income must be no more than:
  • £26,500 for families with one child
  • £30,600 for families with two or more children


Apply now

If you think you may be eligible, click here to apply online:

Apply Online


  • Contact Tameside Family Information Service (FIS) on 0161 342 4260 to complete an application over the telephone
  • Contact your local Children Centre’s for assistance – contact details are provided below
  • Talk to your Health Visitor


St Peter’s Children’s Centre
Trafalgar Square,
0161 342 2255
Hyde Flowery Children’s Centre,
Old Road
SK14 4SQ
0161 342 5353
Greenside Children’s Centre
Greenside Lane,
M43 7RA
0161 342 5197
Ridge Hill Children’s Centre
School Crescent,
SK15 1EA
0161 342 5533


Free Childcare Places for 2 Year Olds

What is 2 year old entitlement?

From September 2013 there will be free childcare places for eligible families with a 2 year old who live within Tameside. You may be entitled to 15 hours of flexible early education for up to 38 weeks completely free of charge. The flexibility of the entitlement will depend on the childcare provider you choose and is subject to reasonable demands and the provider’s ability to offer it. It can mean different hours over different days but you must commit to the same weekly pattern of hours for the term.

How does it work?

Free childcare places will be available to children of families who are in receipt of eligible benefits or you meet the additional criteria, as shown above.

If my child is eligible when can they start receiving the free childcare entitlement?

Your child can start the term after their 2nd birthday.


A child born on or between: Can access their free entitlement from:
1 April and 31 August 1 September (Autumn Term)
1 September and 31 December 1 January (Spring Term)
1 January and 31 March 1 April (Summer Term)

(Subject to availability)

Where can my child access their entitlement?

Your child can access the free entitlement from several childcare providers such as:

  • Private Day Nurseries
  • Pre-School Playgroups
  • Independent Schools
  • Childminders

Providers must be registered with Ofsted AND included on the Tameside Directory of Providers to be able to offer the free entitlement. Not every provider in Tameside can offer the entitlement. View a list of eligible providers here.

What are the benefits for my child?

Good quality early years childcare provides an opportunity to learn through play based activities to become more independent and develop their own identity. Research has shown it helps them acquire the skills they need to make good progress at school.

How do I get a place for my child?

If you are eligible you will be informed by letter or email - the letter will explain more about how you can find a place and what you need to do.

As a parent/carer you can decide where you would like your child to go (subject to availability).

For more information about what is available in your area, or to find a place suitable for you, please contact:

Tameside Family Information Service (FIS)
Telephone: 0161 342 4260
or view a list of eligible providers.

Places are subject to availability and you should contact the childcare provider of your choice as soon as possible in case there is a waiting list for places. Unlike school allocations, places are not guaranteed and will be offered on a first come first served basis.

How do I claim the free childcare entitlement?

When your child first accesses a place, you will be asked to show proof of your child’s date of birth and the letter confirming your offer of a place.  Prior to commencement of your place, your provider will ask you to sign a parental agreement form, which includes the following items:

  • An agreed pattern of hours for the whole term
  • Your confirmation that your child is not receiving more than 15 hours free entitlement per week, at any other provider within, or outside Tameside

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my child attends a provider for more than the 15 hours?

The 15 hours will be completely free and you should not be expected to pay anything for these. If your child has any additional hours or services, your provider will advise your accordingly for any additional costs.

Do I have to use all 15 hours?

No, your child can attend for less than 15 hours per week with agreement with your provider, but remember, you cannot save them to use at any other time, for example, holiday periods.

How many hours can my child have in a day?

Your child can access up to a maximum of 10 hours per day.  Some settings can offer the entitlement flexibly which means that your child could access the full 15 hours over 2-5 days.  To discuss what times you would like your child to attend, please speak to the childcare provider of your choice.

What happens if I want my child to move to a different nursery part way through the term?

By signing the parental contract you are agreeing that your child will stay at that setting for the whole term. This means you must check with your provider if you want to move your child.

What happens if I want my child to stay for lunch?

If your child stays at the setting over the lunch hour, this can be a part of the free entitlement. The provider may make a reasonable charge for the food or alternatively you may be given the option of giving your child a packed lunch. Your provider will discuss this with you.

What happens at the end of the placement?

All children are eligible for 15 hours of free early education per week from the term after their 3rd birthday. Families and childcare provider are advised to discuss plans for continuing the placement before the child’s 3rd birthday. For more information please view “How to Claim your free early education place for 3 and 4 year olds”.

Where can I get further information?


Contact Information
Contact by Post

Family Information Service (FIS)
Tameside One
Market Place
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 4260
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