Funding for two year olds

If you are a parent or carer looking for more information, please visit the families section.

Funded Early education places for two year olds became a statutory entitlement to those families claiming certain benefits. The eligibility criteria is for those families claiming the following benefits which would entitle them to claim free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Income-Based (not contribution-based) Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided the family have an annual income, as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), that does not exceed £16190 (TC602 Final Award Notice)
  • Working Tax Credit, provided the family have an annual income, as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), that does not exceed £16190 (TC602 Final Award Notice)
  • Universal Credit with a net earnings limit of £15400 per year - you will need to provide us with screenshots of your online statements for your last three assessment periods.
  • Children of Zambrano Carers
  • 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
  • Children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 -'the 1999 Act')

Looked after children are also eligible for a free childcare place as well as two year olds who leave care through adoption orders, child arrangements orders or special guardianship orders.

Two year olds with special educational needs or disabilities who have a current statement of special educational needs, an education, health and care plan or who attract Disability Living Allowance are eligible.

Should a family's circumstances change, they will not lose their free childcare funding.

Please note that there may be children currently attending your setting who may now qualify for a free childcare place. If you think families may be eligible please advise them to complete an online application form.

Free post application forms are available and you should have received a marketing pack if your setting is registered with Family Information Service (FIS) to offer free childcare places to eligible two-year olds.

Toolkit for early education places for two year olds

A toolkit for all those providing free childcare places for two year olds is now available.

The toolkit aims to provide a comprehensive guide to delivering free childcare places and supporting practitioners with templates and documents useful when working with two year olds accessing childcare places. The toolkit outlines the application process for parents, funding information, monitoring progress of the children and the roles of other agencies.

Updates to the toolkit will be emailed to you on a regular basis along with documentation to support the implementation of Phase Two in 2014.

For more information please contact


York Family Information Service and Information Service for Young People

01904 554444 / 01904 555400

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