Free early education for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

In Blackburn with Darwen some two year old children and all three and four year old children can access free early education.

Free early education is an opportunity for your child to join in play based activities in a quality environment to support their developmental learning journey and prepare them for school.

Free early education is offered by a range of providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors.

Early years providers offer various models of flexibility when delivering free early education. You will need to check directly with your preferred provider if they can offer the attendance pattern that you require for your child.

How attending free early education will benefit your child

Your child will have the chance to play and learn in an environment that will help to extend their skills and experiences, develop their confidence and build on what they already know.

Research clearly demonstrates that good quality early education benefits children in the long term in respect of enhancing their all-round development and helps them to prepare for school.

Finding an early education provider

Please sign up and log in to our Families Information Service Online where you can find a list of early education providers.

Tax free childcare

Tax-free childcare is a UK wide government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare. For every £8 paid in, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child.

More detailed information and how to apply.

Admission to primary or infant school

Children in Blackburn with Darwen typically start school the September after their fourth birthday. This means that if your child was born between September 1st and August 31st he/she can start school full time from the following September.

Everyone requiring admission for their child to a primary or infant school should apply online.

For further information or support, contact the pupil support and admissions team on 01254 666605.

Tell us what you think

Our aim is to provide you with an excellent customer service experience. To help us achieve this, it is essential that we are a listening Council and we encourage you to provide us with your feedback.

You can do this by telephoning the corporate complaints team on 01254 585367 or emailing us at