Free Places

Student support may be available to students to provide free childcare while you are studying at college subject to status. Please contact the Student Finance Team on 01325 503037.

Free childcare for 2 year olds

Some 2 year olds are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare each week during term time. To check if you are eligible please call us on 01325 503144 or email, or check online at Darlington Borough Council – Free Early Education Sessions

This funding can be accessed from the term after your child turns 2 years old.

Early education funding for 3 and 4 year olds (15 hours)

The Centre is registered to receive funding for 3 and 4 year olds. The funding is given for the child the term after their third birthday and will continue until the child enters school. If your child attends the Centre more than 15 hours per week, the funding will be spread out over 51 weeks and deducted from your weekly fees. Please ask the childcare team for more information about availability of free childcare places for 3 and 4 year olds.

Early education funding for 3 and 4 year olds (30 hours)

From September 2017 the Government have introduced additional funding for eligible working parents of 3 and 4 year olds. If eligible, you will be entitled to up to 30 hours a week of free childcare. All 3 and 4 year old children will still be eligible for the original 15 hours of free childcare per week.

The eligibility criteria for this entitlement is as follows:

  • You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £120 a week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave or you are unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.
  • You will not be eligible for the additional hours of free childcare if you, or your partner, expect to earn a joint income of £100,00 or more.
  • To apply for the additional hours, you can go on to the HMRC website which provides an eligibility checking service. If you are eligible you will receive a code which you will need to bring in to us here at the Childcare Centre. The link to this is

For further information please call us on 01325 503144 or email, or check online at