Early years - free entitlement

​Free early education places for two, three and four year old children

All three and four year old children and some two year old children are entitled to a free part-time nursery education place of up to 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. Or the hours can be stretched hours over the full year (Discuss how many weeks and hours you will be able to attend with your chosen provider).

Where can my child take up a place?

Your child can access their Early Years Free Entitlement (EYFE) at any of the places listed below

  • Private day nurseries
  • Independent schools
  • Pre-school playgroups
  • Childminders
  • Nursery schools and classes

These Childcare providers are registered and inspected by Ofsted and follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS). Details of childcare providers can be found on the Wakefield Council Family Service Directory or on the Schools Database.

Term dates

A child qualifies for a nursery place the term after their second or third birthday.

Child's date of birth and term

When they're eligible

1 January - 31 March (Spring)

Summer (after Easter)

1 April - 31 August (Summer)

Autumn (September)

1 September - 31 December (Autumn)

Spring (January)


How two year olds can qualify

If you think you meet one of the following criteria then your child could be eligible for a free place.

  • Income Support

  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance or Income Based Employment Support Allowance

  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit with a gross income of £16,190 or less

  • Working Tax Credit with a gross income of £16,190 or less

  • Universal Credit with a net income not exceeding £15,400

or if the child

  • Has a Statement of Special Educational Need or an Educational Health Care Plan

  • Is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance

  • Is a Looked After Child, left care through Special Guardianship, Adoption Order or Residence Order

A letter is sent to parents who qualify a month before the start of each term. If you haven't received a letter and you meet one of the above criteria please contact Families Information Service on 0800 587 8042 or email information@wakefield.gov.uk.

Contact us

Early Years

Room 41
County Hall

01924 305665