Free childcare for 2-year-olds


Take2 is a scheme offering up to 15 hours of free early learning and childcare per week, for 38 weeks of the year, for eligible two-year-olds in Norfolk.

Early learning and childcare is great for children.  They can learn through play, make new friends, try different activities and get a good start to their education.

  • You do not have to use all of the 15 free hours each week
  • Childcare providers might allow you to spread the free hours across the year
  • Childcare providers do not have to offer the 15 free hours and not all providers will
  • You can claim up to 15 free hours between two providers

If you have received a letter from us telling you that you are eligible, you do not need to complete the first step and can move on to finding a childcare provider.

To apply for the scheme you must complete the following steps:

A referrer can help parents or carers with each step of the application and claim process.  A referrer could be a childcare provider, Children’s Centre staff or other professional.

Your child is eligible for free childcare at the start of the next claim period which follows their second birthday. (Claim periods start on 1 September, 1 January or 1 April).

One of the following criteria must also be met. 

The child:

  • Is looked after by the local authority
  • Has left care through special guardianship or through an adoption or residence order
  • Is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Has a current statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan 

Or the family is in receipt of at least one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • Tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (this is the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Important: The above is a guide.  You will need to check your eligibility or contact us so we can check and explain what evidence you need to provide.  If you are eligible, we will issue you with a reference number to include on your claim form.  Your eligibility reference is only valid for three calendar months.  After this time you will need to apply again.

To find out if your child is eligible, please text or email and include the details below.  We will then carry out an eligibility check for you . If you are eligible we will give you a reference number.


Complete our online eligibility checker.

Text message

Start your text with ‘Take 2’ and include the following information:

  • The parent / carer’s National Insurance number, or National Asylum Support Service (NASS) number
  • Parent / carer’s date of birth
  • First three letters of the parent / carer’s surname

Send the message to 84433

If text messages are not included in your call package, the text will cost 10p.


Alternatively you can send the same details to:

A variety of childcare providers can offer early education and childcare for your 2-year-old. You or your referrer* will need to contact the provider direct to find out if a place is available and to agree your childcare. Your preferred provider may operate a waiting list, so it is essential that you contact them in good time to discuss your requirements.

Find a childcare provider offering free places for 2-year-olds

If you are having problems finding a place visit Problems finding childcare for help.

*A referrer can help parents/carers with each step of the application process. A referrer could be a childcare provider, Children’s Centre Staff or other professional.

If you have received an eligibility letter giving you a reference number, you will not need to complete the online eligibility check. Take the letter to your chosen provider who will complete the claim form and return it on your behalf.

If you need help finding your childcare or need further assistance you can contact your local Children's Centre, visit the Norfolk Directory for a list of all providers in your area or contact the Family Information Service.

See an example of the eligibility letter.

Once you are in receipt of funding for your child(ren), they will continue to be eligible until transferring to 3 and 4-year-old funding

Childcare providers must be Ofsted-registered and have preferably achieved a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted judgement. Approved childcare providers include:

The date a child is eligible for free early education and childcare is based on the child’s date of birth. A child becomes eligible at the start of the next claim period which follows their second birthday. The dates below show the earliest you can apply for a free childcare place. If you have missed the earliest claim period for your child you can still claim in any of the later claim periods before your child turns three.

Summer 2017
Aged two on or before 31 March 2017 
You can claim funding from 1 April 2017

Autumn 2017
Date of birth range - 1 April 2015 - 31 August 2015 
You can claim funding from 1 September 2017

Spring 2018
Date of birth range - 1 September 2015 - 31 December 2015 
You can claim funding from 1 January 2018

Summer 2018
Date of birth range - 1 January 2016 - 31 March 2016
You can claim funding from 1 April 2018

We recommend that you check with your chosen provider when your child will be eligible to receive funding.