Funded childcare for 2 year olds

Early Education Funding for 2-year-olds

Funded childcare is available for eligible 2-year-olds, for 15 hours a week during the school term.

Children will have fun, in a safe and nurturing environment and it will help them to socialise and make friends.

If your child is eligible, they can take up a place at the start of the term following their second birthday. 

Search our directory for 2-year-old funded providers.

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Your 2-year-old can get funded early education and childcare if you receive one of the following:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Universal Credit

If your child was born on or before 31 December 2015 (turning two before 1 January 2018) then must have an earned gross income (additional money you earn before tax not including your benefits) of no more than £16,190 per year

If your child was born after 31 December 2015 (turning two on or after 1 January 2018) then you must have an earned net income (additional money you earn after tax not including your benefits) of no more than £15,400 per year

  • Tax credits

and have an annual gross income (before tax) of no more than £16,190 per year

  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

  • Support under Part 6 (VI) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)


Other Circumstances

Your child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:

  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order
  • they're children of Zambrano Carers. if their parents meet similar low-level income requirements to others eligible for the scheme (for example, £15,400 net earnings threshold for families in receipt of Universal Credit)
  • they're are children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private/family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • they're are children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 – ‘the 1999 Act’) who meet the same criteria of economic disadvantage. 
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The date you can start a funded place depends on your child’s birthday.

Child’s birthday

When you can start early education funding

1 January to 31 March

The beginning of Summer term on or after 1 April

1 April to 31 August

The beginning of Autumn term on or after 1 September

1 September to 31 December

The beginning of Spring term on or after 1 January


If you believe you are eligible, please complete the 2 year old funding application form online to find out if your child is eligible for the 2 year old funding and to check your application. 

You may apply on behalf of a parent/carer if you have permission to do so and have their relevant details.

If you have applied previously and require your funding reference code, please call 01296 387000.

Find a childcare provider

If you are eligible, you will be sent a confirmation letter which you can take to any of the approved childcare providers

Allocation of your 2 year old funded place will only be considered and accepted by the provider once they have seen the 2 year old confirmation letter.  Please note funding cannot be backdated.  

Help to find a place phone icon

The Early Years Brokerage Service provides help to families who are unable to find a 2-year-old funded place. They will discuss your needs with you and provide advice and information on the availability of places in your area.

Apply for help from our Brokerage Service

If you need any help finding suitable childcare then contact us and we’ll do our best to help you.

If your child has specific needs further support is available from our specialist Brokerage officers

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If you have already applied but have lost your 6 digit reference code please email

Useful Documents/Resources 

Flowchart for Providing Funded Entitlement October 2018 (PDF, 304KB)


30 Hours Childcare

Information for providers on 30 Hours Childcare can be found under the "Information for Providers" section of the 30 Hours page.


Tax-Free Childcare 

For Information for providers on Tax-Free Childcare, take a look at the "Tax-Free Childcare: for providers" page.

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Looking for 3 to 4 year old funding information.