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.
Your 2-year-old can get free 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, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
- tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:
- are looked after by a local authority
- have a statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- get Disability Living Allowance
- have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order
You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.
Contact your childcare provider or local council to find out more.
If you’re a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits
Your 2-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and have either:
- claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision (known as ‘part 6’)
- been refused asylum in the UK (known as ‘section 4’)
A 2-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have either:
- leave to remain with ‘no recourse to public funds’ on family or private life grounds
- the right to live in the UK because you’re the main carer of a British citizen (known as a ‘Zambrano Carer’)
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