Funded childcare places for eligible 2 year olds

Am I eligible?

How will I know if I am eligible to receive 15 hours funded childcare for my two year old?

You can claim a funded place for your child if you are in receipt of one or more of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • Have an annual household income under £16,190 before tax and claim Child Tax Credit and / or Working Tax Credit
  • Have an annual household income of £15,400 after tax and claim Universal Credit
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Children are also entitled to a place if:

  • Your child is looked after by the local council
  • Your child has an education, health and care plan (ECHP)
  • Your family is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for the child
  • A child who has left care through special guardianship order, child arrangement order or adoption order

Children in low income families are now able to take up a funded place when their parent(s) have one of the following types of immigration status:

  • Zambrano carer (derivative right to reside in the UK under European law as the primary carer of a British child or dependent adult)
  • Leave to remain with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) granted on family or private life (Article 8) grounds
  • ‘Appeal rights exhausted’ (ARE) asylum seeker receiving asylum support from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Parents who are Zambrano carers or who have leave to remain with NRPF, must also be able to demonstrate that they have a low income.

When should I apply to see if my child is eligible?

You can apply to see if your child is eligible during the term in which they turn 2-years-old. Please refer to the table below for more information. 

If your child's 2nd birthday is on or between: Earliest date you can see if your eligible from:
1 January - 31 March  beginning of January
1 April - 31 August  beginning of April
1 September - 31 December  beginning of September

Please do not make an application prior to the earliest date shown above.

When can my child start if they are eligible?

Your child's eligibility code will be valid from the term after their 2nd birthday.

If your child's 2nd birthday is on or between: He/she will be entitled to their funded place from (the term after the child's 2nd birthday):
1 January - 31 March Summer term (April onwards)
1 April - 31 August Autumn term (September onwards)
1 September - 31 December Spring term (January onwards)

How do I apply to see if my child is eligible?

You can apply by using our online application form below.

2 Year Old Funding Application

Before making your application, please ensure that it isn't too early to apply. See 'When should I apply to see if my child is eligible' for more information. 

How will I know if my child is eligible for a place?

Once your application has been processed you will receive a letter confirming whether your child is eligible and explaining what you need to do to take up the offer. You will need to take this letter to your chosen childcare provider as proof of your eligibility. 

What do I need to do once I have received my eligibility letter?

  • You need to decide which funded childcare provider you would like your child to go to and call them to see if they have availability - you can use the Families Information Service (FIS) Childcare Finder to find a list of funded childcare providers
  • You then need to take your eligibility letter to your chosen childcare provider so they can use your eligibility code to claim the funding for your child.

What happens if my circumstances change?

  • If your child has already been awarded the funding, this will not be taken away from them, even if your circumstances change. Your child will be able to continue to access the funding until the term after their 3rd birthday, when they will then be eligible for the universal 15 hours. 
  • If your child isn’t eligible for the funding and your circumstances have changed, you can apply to see if you are now eligible using the methods stated in the ‘How do I apply to see if my child is eligible?’ section above.

What if I don't know which childcare I want to use?

  • You can see what providers are available by using the FIS Childcare and Schools Finder
  • You can contact the Families Information Service to have providers sent via email on - all queries will be responded to within three working days

Will I have to pay anything for my child's early education place?

Your child's early education place is paid for by the Government, however, schools/childcare providers can charge for meals, consumables (such as nappies and sun cream), additional activities (such as trips) or additional hours (hours that are taken over and above the funded entitlement hours). Where a parent chooses to pay for meals, consumables or additional hours, this is a private arrangement between the parent and the school/childcare provider. 

Parent must not be required to pay any fee as a condition of taking up a funded early education place.

Schools/childcare providers should be open and transparent about any additional charges, so parents have a clear choice and know the cost of any extras they may wish to purchase. Parents should also be made aware of the options available to them if they do not wish to purchase any extras, for example a parent may supply their own consumables or a meal / snack for their child. 

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Last updated: 06 January 2020 15:44:49