Some early education and childcare is funded by the UK Government for children in England. There are different schemes depending on a child’s age.
Government funded early education and childcare is not classed as a 'public fund' for immigration purposes, so can be accessed by a child regardless of their immigration status. However, some schemes have eligibility requirements relating to the immigration status of the parent(s) and so may not be available to all families.
In this section, the different rules for each scheme are set out according to the child’s age. This information does not yet cover eligibility for the extended free childcare schemes announced by the UK government in 2023, as no details about this have been provided. The new schemes are due to be phased in over the next two years, as follows:
Information about funded early education and childcare in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is provided by the respective governments: