Walsall FIS offers up-to-date information,
advice and help on services for families in Walsall.

Free early learning for 2 year olds

Free early learning is available to all 3 and 4 year olds, and some 2 year olds. This page answers the most common questions for childcare providers in Walsall.

Spring Term 2022 Funding Period

Headcount day:  Thursday, 20th January 2022

The table below shows the weeks you will be funded for this funding period.

Funding Week Week Commencing
Week 1 10/01/2022
Week 2 17/01/2022
Week 3 24/01/2022
Week 4 31/01/2022
Week 5 07/02/2022
Week 6 14/02/2022
Week 7 28/02/2022
Week 8 07/03/2022
Week 9 14/03/2022
Week 10 21/03/2022
Week 11 28/03/2022


If you need to view the current funding timetable, you can download it here:  Timetable of Financial Year 2021-22 Academic Year 2021-22


What is a free early learning place?

A place is for eligible children from the term after they turn 2 years old. they can get a maximum of 570 hours. This is broken down over 3 terms and works out:

  • Autumn term = 14 weeks (210 hours)
  • Spring term = 11 weeks (165 hours)
  • Summer = 13 weeks (195 hours)

A child will normally take the hours in one of two ways:

  • 12 hours per week for 48 weeks
  • 15 hours per week, term time only.


When can a child get a place?

The table below shows the dates and terms when children become eligible:

If a child is born between:

They will get their free place:

1st January and 31st March Summer term (in April)
1st April and 31st August Autumn term (in September)
1st September and 31st December Spring term (in January)


Who is eligible for a place?

To get a place you must have a child who is 2, or will be 2 in the next few months and:

Families in receipt of:

  • Working Tax Credit / Child Tax Credit and earn less than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit and earn less than £15,400

Children with Special Educational Needs:

  • Child receives Disability Living Allowance
  • Child has a current statement of special educational needs or an Education Health and Care plan

Looked after or adopted children:

  • Child is looked after by a local council
  • Child has left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

Support through part 6 Immigration and Asylum Act

For a parent / carer to check their eligibility they must contact Walsall FIS on 01922 653383. Alternatively they can get online by visiting the Can I get a 2 year old place? page.


How much will I get paid?

The funding rate is £5.40. For more information please speak Walsall Early Years Finance Team on 01922 686346 or 01922 686478.


What is the procedure?

When a parent / carer contacts Walsall FIS and is found to be eligible, they will be issued with a letter. This letter contains a tear-off strip that includes their unique code.  You must keep this tear-off slip with the code for your records.  You will need the code for the headcount forms.

Each term, headcount information is collected via the Provider Portal.  This needs to be submitted on or before the termly headcount day.  This is normally the third Thursday in January, the third Thursday in May and the first Thursday in October.  On the Portal, you will details all of the eligible children accessing the free entitlement at your setting, including the hours they attend.  Once this information has been accepted and checked, payments will be issued directly to your bank account or by cheque.


I have a parent /carer who says they are eligible, how do I know they are?

Unless they can produce a confirmation letter with a unique code, you should not agree to place the child for a free place. If they have lost the letter, they can request a duplicate one from Walsall FIS by contacting 01922 653383.


Please note starter/leaver forms no longer need to be completed 


Where can I find out more about a place?

You can find out more by visiting Walsall Children's Service Directory website or by calling Walsall FIS on 01922 653383.