2 year olds - FEET & 15 hours Tax-Free Childcare for working parents


Funded Early Education for Two year olds (FEET)

Funded Early Education for Two year olds (FEET) is an offer of up to 15 hours of free early education and childcare a week. To be eligible to apply for FEET your family must meet either the automatically funded, financial or other criteria shown below.

Families who meet the automatically funded and financial criteria can apply themselves but families who are applying under other criteria will need to be referred to the Surrey County Council FEET team. If your child does not meet any of these they may still be eligible for funding if a professional involved with your family considers them to have a significant need.

Automatically funded criteria:

If your child is in one of the groups below they will automatically be eligible to claim FEET:

  • Child looked after by Surrey County Council.
  • Child who has been adopted or has left care through special guardianship or a residence order.
  • Child with a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan.
  • Child getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Financial criteria:

If your family receives one of the following benefits then your child may be eligible to claim FEET:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income related to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and have a gross annual income up to £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit and have an annual income under £16,190 before tax
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' – the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit


Funding can be applied for the term of your child's second birthday but it won't start until the following academic term. Your child can continue to receive FEET until the term after their third birthday when they will become eligible for Free Early Education for 3 and 4 year olds (FEE Funding) which our Nursery also supports.

For more information, a full list of the FEET criteria, and to get specific advice about your particular circumstances, visit the Surrey County Council FEET page.


Tax-Free Childcare for working parents for Two year olds

If you’re in work you might be able to get 15 hours of funded childcare a week from 1 April 2024 - this is often called ‘free hours’. If you’re in a couple you both need to be working.

You can usually get 15 hours of funded childcare if both the following apply:

  • your child is 2 years old or will turn 2 years old before 1 April 2024
  • you earn at least £8,670 a year and less than £100,000 a year adjusted net income, which is your income after some tax reliefs and deductions

If you’re a couple, you'll both need to earn between these amounts. If you already get 15 funded hours of childcare from the government you can’t get these hours as well. 

When to apply?

15 hours

How Do I Claim?

To claim the 15 free hours of childcare, you must apply through the Childcare Choices Government website: Apply for free childcare if you're working - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Anyone who applies after the deadline will not be able to take up their free extended hours until the following term.

For more information please feel free to email nursery@sythwood.surrey.sch.uk

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