You can find out more from the Northamptonshire County Council website. You’ll also find an eligibility checker.
In England, all 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 570 hours of free child. The funding is available from the funding block (similar to a school term) after their third birthday.
Personally I feel there is a lot of pressure on parents to send their child to nursery but it is important to remember that it is optional. My first and second child went to a private nursery/preschool and were very happy there. My youngest started preschool but never settled. The preschool did everything they could and were very supportive. However, she just wasn’t ready for early learning outside of the home. At the time, almost four years ago, there weren’t any childminders in Corby with funded places available. I think a home from home setting would have been more suited to her needs than a nursery.
Funded places for two years olds have recently been introduced. These are generally for children whose parents are on a low income. Again, you can use the eligibility checker on the NCC website. It is linked to the Department of Work and Pensions. This means it can give you an immediate answer as to whether your child is eligible to receive free childcare or not.
2 year olds who have an additional/special need may be entitled to Discretionary Places. Details can be found here.