Early Education Funding For Two Year Olds

Do you have a two year old?  If so, you may be able to claim Two Year Old Funding to help pay for childcare

Two Year Old Funding covers up to 15 hours of childcare a week, for 38 weeks of the year, and can be used at local nurseries, pre-schools and childminders to suit your child’s individual needs.

Two-year-olds are eligible, if you claim one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit and an annual net earned income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400, assessed on up to three of your most recent Universal Credit assessment periods
  • Tax credits and 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)

A child can also get Two Year Old funding if any of the following apply:

  • They are looked after by a local council
  • They have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • They get Disability Living Allowance
  • They have left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

If you are a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits, your two year old may get funding 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 funding 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 or
    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)

When can I start to claim funding if my child is eligible?

Funding can start from the term following the child's 2nd birthday

Child's Birthday

When Funding Can Start

1 January - 31 March

1 April

1 April - 31 August

1 September

1 September - 31 December

1 January

How to claim funding

See if you can claim by using our online checker. You will need the following information:

  • Your own name and date of birth

  • Contact details including email address

  • National Insurance number or national Asylum Seekers Number

  • Child's name and date of birth

If your application is successful

You will be sent a unique reference number which you should give to your chosen childcare provider to enable them to claim the funding for your child.

For further information on early education funding and for help finding childcare, please contact your Children's or Family Information Service or your local Children's Centre.

Privacy notice

Read our privacy notice to find out what happens to your information when you claim Early Education Funding.