Skip to main content


All three and four year olds (and some eligible two year olds) in Stoke-on-Trent are entitled to funded childcare and early education.

Children are entitled to 15 hours of education each week, usually over 38 weeks each year during school term time (570 hours), although some settings may ‘stretch’ the entitlement and offer you less hours over more weeks, for example 11 hours each week over 51 weeks.

Three and four year olds children with working parents are eligible to receive up to 30 hours of funded childcare.

Funded early education is usually available from the start of the term after the child’s birthday and places are available at a range of early years settings including childminders, day nurseries and pre-school play groups. Maintained nurseries, schools and academies also offer provision.

You can search for childcare by clicking on the links to the right of this page. By clicking on an individual childcare provider you will see further detail about their provision, including any additional experience, knowledge or facilities in relation to children with special educational needs.

Does my two-year-old qualify for funded childcare and education?

Two year old children with special educational needs or disabilities are often entitled to a funded 15 hour childcare place. To be eligible, children must meet the following criteria:

  • your child has a current statement of special educational need (SEN) or an education, health and care plan (EHC)
  • your child receives disability living allowance

If your child meets any of these criteria and you want to apply for a funded childcare place then please contact 01782 232200 and press option one.


If your child does not meet the above criteria then you could still be entitled to funded childcare and early education it if you or they receive one or more of the following:

  • income support
  • income-based Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • universal credit - for places starting in the summer term of 2018 (on or after April 1, 2018) or any following term, if a parent is entitled to universal credit, they must have an annual net (after taxes) earned income equal to or not more than £15,400. This is based on up to three of the parent's most recent universal credit assessment periods
  • tax credits and they have an annual income of less than £16,190 before tax
  • the guaranteed element of state pension credit
  • support through part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 
  • the working tax credit four-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for working tax credit)

Two-year-olds also qualify who:

  • are looked after by their local authority
  • have left care through or through an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement order

For further information or to apply, please click here or contact 01782 232200 and select option one.

When can you start claiming funded childcare?

Funded childcare and early education is usually available from the start of the term after the child's birthday for both two and three year olds.

If your child was born between

They will be eligible for a funded childcare place

 January 1 and March 31

 from the beginning of the term on or after April 1

 April 1 and August 31

 from the beginning of the term on or after September 1

 September 1 and December 31

 from the beginning of the term on or after January 1

How to apply for 30 hours funded childcare for working parents

All 3 and 4-year-olds in England already get 15 hours a week, or 570 hours a year of funded early education. If their parents are living and working in England, 3 and 4-year-olds may be entitled to 30 hours funded childcare. An extra 570 hours of funded childcare a year, so 1140 hours in total.

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) the equivalent of working 16 hours a week at your national minimum wage (£125 at the National Living Wage, less if you are on the National Minimum Wage)

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

You can't get 30 hours funded childcare if you, or your partner, expect to earn £100,000 or more.

You may get asked for further information as part of your application, so apply well ahead of the start date for each term.

To keep your 30 hours funded childcare place you need to check your details are up to date every 3 months.

When you apply, you'll be confirming that you need childcare so that you and your partner, if you have one, can work. If your child's already in a full-time reception class in a state funded school, you won't be eligible for 30 hours funded childcare.

For further information or to apply, please click here

Things you might wish to check with a childcare provider

When you visit a childcare provider, you may want to check:

  • staff qualifications
  • how they'll prepare for your child going to their new school or room
  • how safe and secure the room(s) and outdoor area is
  • if the toilets are clean and suitable for children
  • what plans they have for emergencies
  • how play activities will be adapted
  • how many children there are to each member of staff
  • who is supervising and how they’re doing it
  • if the children seem to be happy and interested in what they’re doing
  • how you'll get updates on what your child has done, enjoyed and learnt and how you'll raise concerns
  • if the equipment is varied, high quality and creative
  • how they promote positive behaviour
  • how you’ll find out about your child's day and what they enjoyed and learnt
  • what food they give the children for lunch and snacks
  • how they work with other professionals who might work with your child.
Back to top