Funded Early Learning and Childcare for age 2

Some 2 year old children are eligible for a funded placement of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC).

Who is eligible?

Are you in receipt of one of the benefits below?  If yes, your 2 year old child will be eligible for a funded ELC place;

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (income based)
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal credit - where household earned income is £796 or less per month*
  • Child Tax Credits (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £19,995*
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and Maximum Working Tax Credit and your income is under £9,552*
  • Support is under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Funded early learning and childcare is also available to those aged 2 or over who are (or have been at any point since turning 2) either; 

  • looked after by a local council
  • the subject of a kinship care order
  • a child with a parent-appointed guardian
  • with a parent who has experience of care

* These are the income thresholds from 1st April 2024, and can vary annually.

When could they start?

2 year old children become eligible for funded ELC dependant on their month of birth as outlined below:

  • 1 March - 10 August = August term
  • 11 August - 31 August = October term
  • 1 September - 31 December = January term
  • 1 January - 28/29 February = Easter term

How do I apply?

If you think you may be eligible, when your child has turned two please contact the Early Years Helpline on 01369 708503 or to request an application pack. Please read this carefully for guidance on providing your relevant evidence in the correct format.

To submit an application you will require a copy of your child's birth certificate, and from January 2024 a proof of address letter with your name on. If you are applying using a universal credit statement or benefits letter as evidence, this will meet the proof of address requirement also.

Find further information on early years including childcare.

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