Can I Get Help With Childcare Costs Banner

  • For families in England, receiving some forms of support with 2-year-old children
  • 15 hours of free childcare or early education for 38 weeks
  • A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider
  • Some providers will allow you  to 'stretch' the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week
  • Also known as ME2 or me2.

Am I eligible?

To be able to take up 15 hours of free early education for your two-year-old you must meet the eligibility criteria. Please visit GOV.UK for further information.

Or you can complete the Icon for pdf ME2 Referral Form [133.91KB].

Where can I use it?

It's available at participating:

  • Full day care (e.g. nurseries)
  • Schools
  • Childminders
  • Sessional providers (e.g. playgroups)
  • Sure Start Children's Centres

From 1 January, 1 April or 1 September following your child's 2nd birthday.

What isn't covered?

The 15 hours of free childcare/early education for two-year-olds is not intended to cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips). Providers may charge a fee for these additions. If you choose to pay for these it is an arrangement between you and the childcare provider. However, you must not be required to pay any fee as a condition of taking up a 15 hours place, and must be offered alternative options.