2 Year Olds

Free childcare for eligible 2 year olds provides up to 15 hours per week during term time or as a stretched offer for 12 hours per week over 48 weeks per year (with childcare providers who choose to deliver this model).

Families will qualify for free childcare for their 2 year old if they meet any of the below criteria:

The parent(s) claim one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit – For places starting in the summer term of 2018 (on or after 1st April 2018), or any subsequent term, if a parent is entitled to Universal Credit they must have an annual net earned income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400, assessed on up to three of the parent’s most recent Universal Credit assessment periods. 21 Further guidance on checking eligibility is set out below.
  • Tax credits and they have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • The child has a statement of special educational needs made under section 324 of the Education Act 1996;
  • The child has an Education, Health and Care plan prepared under section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014;
  • The child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance under section 71 of the Social Security and Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
  • They are looked after by a local authority (under section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989) or by a local authority in Wales within the meaning given by section 74(1) of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
  • They are no longer looked after by a local authority as a result of an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangement order (within the meaning of section 8(1) of the Children Act 1989 or section 74(1) of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014) which relates to either or both of the following:
    • with whom the child is to live;
    • when the child is to live with any person.

Parents who wish their child to start a two-year-old entitlement place from 1 April 2018 onwards (children starting in summer term 2018, or any subsequent term) and who are in receipt of Universal Credit will be subject to the earned income threshold.

An application form must be completed and submitted to the Early Years Entitlement team by a parent directly or by a professional working with the family (e.g. Health Visitor, Nursery Manager, Family Support Worker, Social Worker). Complete an Early Years Entitlement for 2 Year Olds – Application Form or call for a paper form 0800 195 1635.

Funded places are confirmed on an individual basis directly with the parent/carer detailed on the application. Children become eligible for the 2 Year Old entitlement from the term after their second birthday. Eligibility continues until the end of the school term in which the child turns 3 years, this ensures a seamless transition to the free Early Years Entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds.