The government has extended eligibility for the free early education entitlement for the most disadvantaged two year old children to three additional groups of children from September 2019.

The new groups of children to be entitled to a free place are:

  • Children of Zambrano Carers
  • Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private/family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 – ‘the 1999 Act’)

A Zambrano carer is a person from a non-EEA state whose residence is required in order to enable a child or dependant adult, who is British, to live in the UK (or the rest of the EEA). The children of Zambrano Carers will be entitled if their parents meet similar low level income requirements to others eligible for the scheme (e.g. £15,400 net earnings threshold for families in receipt of Universal Credit).

The entitlement is also extended to children whose families have a right to be here on Article 8 grounds with no recourse to public funds and who meet the same criteria of economic disadvantage.

Similarly, eligibility is also extended to children whose families receive support under section 4 of the 1999 Act because they are temporarily unable to leave the UK and would otherwise be destitute. As such, they satisfy the low income requirements to be eligible for the entitlement.

The number of these two year olds is expected to be small, but it is important that everyone is aware of these changes to be able to offer funded places when children in these circumstances come to the attention of the local authority and their partners.

The Department of Education is working closing with the Local Government Association and Home Office and will be providing further information and guidance for local authorities in the next couple of weeks on assessing the eligibility for a free place for these groups of children.

If you have any queries regarding these changes please email:

For further information and guidance on free early education places for disadvantaged two year olds please contact:

Published On: September 2nd, 2019 / Categories: News /

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