Little Joe’s (2 year olds)

“Every day we meet in the unit and have so much fun! It’s good being with all the older boys and girls because they help us out. We can play inside and outside, there is so much choice, but we also can have a quiet time with Mrs Brook in our own special area.”

These are the youngest children in our school and their key workers are Mrs Pilling and Mrs Brook.

We provide four places for children who are two years of age and who meet government specified criteria.

Your 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Universal Credit – if you and your partner have a combined income from work of less than £15,400 a year after tax

  • tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax

  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act

  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:

  • they’re looked after by a local council

  • they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN)or an education, health and care (EHC) plan

  • they get Disability Living Allowance

  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

If you’re eligible the free early education and childcare:

If you have a child, who is two or is coming up two, and you think you may be eligible for a place in our childcare unit, please contact the main office.  

 Nursery (3 year olds)

“We have the biggest sand pit every outside and there’s tyres we can roll and a water butt where we can collect water and put in the sand. Inside there is so much room for us to play. There’s a lovely big space for us to play with the dinosaurs and bricks. Also, there is always paint and things for us to cut and stick. If we get stuck we help each other or we ask one of our adults. They are always very helpful!”

These are our next youngest children in our school and their key workers are Mrs Pilling and Mrs Know.


All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get free early education or childcare.

The free early education and childcare:

  • must be with an approved childcare provider

  • stops when your child starts in reception class (or reaches compulsory school age, if later)

There are different schemes in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

15 hours free childcare

All children in England get 570 free hours per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks, for example.

You can get it from the term after your child’s 3rd birthday.

Contact your childcare provider or local council to find out more.

30 hours free childcare

You may be able to get up to 30 hours free childcare (1,140 hours per year, which you can choose how you take).

If you’re eligible for the extra hours, you sign up online to get a code to give to your childcare provider to reserve your place. You’ll get the extra hours once the next term starts.

If you’ve already registered, you can sign in to your childcare account.


You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:

  • in work – or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave

  • each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week – this is £125.28 if you’re over 25

This earnings limit does not apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.

You’re not eligible if:

  • your child does not usually live with you

  • the child is your foster child

  • either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000

  • you’re from outside the EEA and your UK residence card says you cannot access public funds

You can get 30 hours free childcare at the same time as claiming Universal Credit, tax credits or childcare vouchers.

If you cannot work

You may still be eligible if your partner is working, and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

Reception (4-5 year olds)

These are the oldest of our youngest children in our school and their key workers are Mrs Pilling and Mrs Allen.

“Being 4 and then five years old in the unit is good because we’ve been there since nursery and we know where everything is and we know all the adults. The good thing is if we get an idea the adults help us to explore it. One day we wondered about the hard plastic on the paper, so Mrs Pilling went and got the laminator and showed us how it worked. We were even allowed to gently push the card through the laminator and then cut out the shapes. What a great day! We also do Read Write Inc, it’s so much fun! Each letter has a sound and there is a rhyme to help us remember. Once we know the sounds then we start to read Ditties. Sam comes too and we do lots of activities outside. We even get to cook a marshmallow on a REAL fire!

I love coming to St Joseph’s it so much fun and we learn so much!”