Do you have a two year old?
If so, then you could be eligible for a free early education place. Your 2 year old could access up to 570 hours of early learning funding, used at ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rated childcare providers.
This funding can be accessed in several ways:
- Up to 15 hours per week over 38 weeks of the year (term time only)
- You can stretch your 2 year old funding to cover school holidays, for example use 11 hours over 51 weeks of the year. (Please note that you may not receive the full entitlement if you use the stretch option).
- You can bank some of the hours to use at a time that is best for you. So, reduce your hours for some weeks of the year to build up spare hours to use at another time.
All of these options depend upon the childcare provider’s vacancies and other circumstances such as opening times; so all will require a discussion with the provider first.
To receive this funding, you must be getting one 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
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Tax credits and have an annual household income under £16,190 before tax
- The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- Universal Credit - if you and your partner have a combined income from work of less than £15,400 a year after tax
Children are also entitled to a place if:
- they’re looked after by a local council
- they have an Education, Health and Care plan (formerly a Statement of Special Educational Needs)
- they get Disability Living Allowance
- they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
The funding starts the term following your child’s second birthday:
- A child born between 1st April and 31st August can access childcare from 1st September
- A child born between 1st September and 31st December can access childcare from 1st January
- A child born between 1st January and 31st March can access childcare from 1st April
Two year old funding is paid from the term following the child’s second birthday. Applications can be submitted on the Citizen Portal website 12 weeks before the start of the relevant term, as follows:
- Apply from 9th June for a child born between 1st April and 31st August to access childcare from 1st September.
- Apply from 9th October for a child born between 1st September and 31st December to access childcare from 1st January.
- Apply from 7th January for a child born between 1st January and 31st March to access childcare from 1st April.
Telephone: 01208 265688