Early Years funding for 2 year olds
From September 2014 the law changed to allow more 2 year olds to benefit from funded childcare than ever before.
In Wiltshire, we have branded the funding as 'Better 2gether Funding'.
Childcare is good for children. Research has shown that good quality early education can:
- Improve children's development, for example their communication skills
- Help them learn to socialise with other children and make friends
- Help them begin to get ready for school
- Give them access to exciting places to play and new activities including messy play that you might not want to do at home
- It can give you a bit more time to spend with your other children, take up a college course, or go back to work
- You can also pick up ideas of what to do with your child at home and how you can help them grow and learn
- The 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
- 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
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)
- Universal Credit - if you and your partner are on a low income from work (this usually means a combined income of less than £15,400 a year after tax)
- Support under part six 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 2 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)
If you are a non-UK citizen who can not claim benefits
If your immigration status says you have 'No Recourse To Public Funds' (NRPF), you might still get free childcare for your 2 year old. If you wish to apply, please go to the 'apply and check progress of applications' section and then download and complete the application.
You must live in England and your household income must be no more than:
- £26,500 for one child outside London
- £30,600 with two or more children outside London
- You cannot have more that £16,000 in savings or investments.
From 1 September 2022, the Department for Education extended the eligibility criteria for the entitlement of 15 hours a week free early education for disadvantaged 2 year olds to families with No Recourse To Public Funds (NRPF):
- Those with a UK ancestry visa
- Those with temporary protection status under Section 12 of the Nationality and Borders Act
- Those with pre-settled status with no qualifying right to reside
- Click on 'Apply or check the progress of your application' which will take you through to our Parent Portal (If you have any difficulties using our Parent Portal, email email@example.com)
- All childcare settings and Children Centres can apply online for this funding on behalf of the parent. The parent will need to supply their National Insurance number for this to happen.
- For non-UK citizens applying under 'No Recourse To Public Funds' (NRPF), please download and complete the application form:
The following age parameters are used to decide when funding starts:
|When your child turns 2||When 2 year old funding commences||Recommended time to apply|
|On or before 31 March||From 1 April||From 1 January|
|On or before 31 August||from 1 September||From 1 April|
|On or before 31 December||From 1 January||From 1 September|
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.
- All childcare is provided by registered professionals who are fully trained in looking after children and have been police checked
- We fund all childcare providers who currently hold either a good or outstanding Ofsted grading
- To find eligible childcare providers in your area, please use our online childcare directory. (NB You will need to click 'Search', and then select '2 year old funded providers' from 'Childcare' under the filters on the left-hand side of the page).
- No, once the funding has been awarded it continues even if your circumstances change.
- No, once the funding has been awarded it continues even if you choose to move your child to another provider
- Remember, your local Children's Centre is there to help you, they can discuss with you your childcare options.
For advice and guidance on government help with childcare costs for parents, please visit the GOV.UK Childcare Choices website.