Free childcare 2, 3 & 4 year old’s

When can my Child start free Nursery Education?

Children are eligible for free attendance at the setting of their choice (spaces permitting) from the term following their third birthday.  Children with birthdays on or before 31st March can apply for free attendance from the Summer Term (April – July).  Children with birthdays on or before 31st August are eligible from the Autumn Term (September – December) and children turning three before 31st December can access their free (funded) attendance in the Spring Term (January – April).  

Every three and four year old child is entitled to up to 15 hours free attendance for *38 term time weeks in each year, or up to 12 hours free attendance for up to *47.5 weeks per year (the stretched offer).   

From September 2017, many families will be entitled to claim up to 30 hours free attendance per week for *38 term time weeks per year (up to 24 hours free for *47.5 weeks per year).    To apply, please go to and complete the online application form.  You will be given an 11 digit ID number which we will need, along with your Parent/Carer declaration form, to secure your space.  

Many parents may be entitled to claim funded (free) attendance for their 2 year old children too.         To apply, please search “2 year old funding Lincolnshire” and complete the online application form.  

Childcare settings are not able to apply on behalf of parents, but we are happy to assist if you need us.  

Please note that every parent applying for any funded attendance will need to complete an annual Parent/Carer declaration form, available direct from Acorns or Little Oaks.

*Our term time and school holiday dates run in line with those of the Lincolnshire County Council.  The funding dates for 38 week and 47.5 week contracts are dictated by Lincolnshire County Council.   Acorns and Little Oaks are closed for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year, and these plus the last two weeks of August and are non-funded weeks, and are not included in childcare contracts where funded spaces form part of the agreement.   We are happy to offer paid for attendance over those weeks if they are booked and paid for in advance (terms and conditions apply – please ask our Office Manager for details).