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Free early education - funding for 2 year olds

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Better 2gether logoFrom September 2014 the law changed to allow more two year olds to benefit from free childcare than ever before.  In Wiltshire, we have branded the funding as ‘Better 2gether Funding’.

What does the funding pay for?

This funding will pay for childcare for up to 15 hours a week (38 weeks of the year). That’s 15 hours of playing, painting, reading, cooking, climbing, singing, dancing, dressing-up, running around, building, gardening... whatever your child likes doing. But most of all, children will be learning with other children. That’s also 15 hours a week for parents – to get stuff done at home, study or look for work. It is not required that the full 15 hours a week are taken up straight away, they can be built up slowly over the year. It may also be possible to stretch the free hours over 50 weeks of the year, if your chosen childcare provider is open all year round.

Which two year olds are eligible for funding?

Parents who are in receipt of one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Tax credit and have an annual household income of less than £16,190 (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs).

Or if the two year old:

  • Has a statutory statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care plan. As statements and statutory plans are issued by wiltshire council we are able to identify these children internally. Therefore parents are unable to self-refer for funding based on this criteria
  • Has left local authority care through a Special Guardianship Order, adoption or a Residence Order
  • Is currently a Looked After Child, for example in foster care
  • Is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

How to apply

Parents and carers need to complete a funding form.

When does funding start?

The following age parameters are used to decide when funding starts:

  • Child who becomes 2 years old on or before 31 March – funding from 1 April
  • Child who becomes 2 years old on or before 31 August – funding from 1 September
  • Child who becomes 2 years old on or before 31 December – funding from 1 January

These children will then move automatically on to three year old funding, which is available for a maximum of 15 hours a week.

We encourage all families who receive this funding to engage with their local children’s centre.

Which childcare providers deliver funded two year old places?

We fund all childcare providers who currently hold either a good or outstanding Ofsted grading.

To find eligible childcare providers in area, please use our online childcare directory. (NB You will need to select ‘2 year old funding’ at the bottom of the search page).

Number of funded places

  • From April 2014: 1000 places
  • From September 2014: 1300 places

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts:
eMail: earlyyears@wiltshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 003 4561
Out of hours:
Fax: 01225 785699
Postal Address:

Early Years and Childcare
Commissioning and Performance
Children’s Services
County Hall
Bythesea Road
Trowbridge
BA14 8JN


In Person:
DX:

Related information

Related documents

Last updated: 30 June 2014

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Early Years and Childcare
Commissioning and Performance
Children’s Services
County Hall
Bythesea Road
Trowbridge
BA14 8JN