A foundation stage 1 or free early education place starts from the term after your child’s third birthday. Children are entitled to 15 hours of free early education per week (term time only).
Your child’s free early education gives them a great start in life. It can give your child the chance to make new friends and they can explore and learn in a safe environment which has activities built around their needs.
Your child can get their free place at schools, day nurseries and pre-schools. Some childminders are also registered to offer free early education places.
Applications for your child’s early education place should be made directly to your chosen childcare provider or school, if you need any help finding a childcare provider or school contact the Families Information Service.
You should be aware that gaining a place in the foundation stage 1 or nursery class at a school or children’s centre does not guarantee that a place will be available for your child in the foundation stage 2 or reception class at the same school.
The admissions policy and further information can be found in Section 11 of the Admission to Primary School Booklet. Help is also available from the Families Information Service.
Visit the Families Information Service website
Working families may be eligible for an additional 15 hours free childcare per week, more information is available at Childcare Choices.
Visit the Childcare Choices website
Some 2 year olds are also eligible for 15 hours free childcare per week, find out more information and check if you are eligible.