Free Funding

Free For Two’s Funding

Free early education places for two-year-olds are known in Kent as the “Free for 2” or “FF2” scheme.

The local authority has a duty to provide eligible two-year-olds up to 570 hours of free early education a year, 15 hours a week over 38 weeks of the year.

A child is eligible if:

  • they fall within the criteria used to determine eligibility for Free School Meals
  • their families receive Working Tax Credits and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190 per year
  • they have a current statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care plan
  • they are entitled to Disability Living Allowance
  • they are looked after by a local authority
  • they are no longer looked after by the local authority as a result of an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order which specifies with whom the child lives.

Parents of eligible children can start claiming after their child turns 2, depending on when their birthday is.

Free Early Education Places for 3-4 year old children.

Your child is entitled to a maximum of 570 hours Free Early Education per year the term after their third birthday. All children receive this funding regardless of family income. The funding is split in to a pattern of 15 hours per week for 38 weeks a year.  This can be taken over a minimum of 2 days per week, not being shorter than 3 hours per day or longer than 10 hours per day. It can be taken between the hours of 07.30 – 17.30 Monday to Friday.

Some parents may be eligible for 30 hours per week (1140 hours per year) dependent in income. You can download the eligibility document provided by the government here to see if you qualify for extra finance.

Currently in Kent the 38 weeks are in line with Kent County Council (KCC) school term dates (see provider term dates).

In Kent, children become eligible to claim their free early education from:

A child born between:

  • 1st April – 31 August (inclusive):
    The start of term 1 following the third birthday (after Summer holidays) until statutory school age.
  • 1st September – 31st December (inclusive):
    The start of term 3 following the third birthday (after Christmas/New Year holiday) until statutory school age
  • 1st January – 31st March (inclusive):
    The start of term 5 following the third birthday (after April holiday) until statutory school age