Early Years funding for 2 year olds
In Wiltshire, we have branded the funding as 'Better 2gether Funding'
Following the Spring 2023 Budget announcement, the government are planning to expand the childcare offer for working parents who fulfil the 30 hours criteria 30 hours childcare offer as follows:
• April 2024: Eligible two-year-olds will get 15 hours of free childcare per week
• September 2024: Eligible children between nine months and two years will get 15 hours
• September 2025: Eligible children between nine months and three years will get 30 hours"
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) - please attach a copy of the DLA letter to your application
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
For parents/carers applying under the economic criteria your details will be checked via the National Eligibility Checking System and if found eligible your application will be updated accordingly in your parent portal account and a unique reference number will be assigned. This then must be shown to your chosen early years provider.
Where a parent/carers details are 'Not found' by the National Eligibility Checking System, we will email asking you to provide documents to show that you have met the economic criteria, for example, Universal Credit take-home pay earnings reported by your employer, Tax credit TC602. Please check your junk/spam folder for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org
For parents/carers who are apply under the non-economic criteria: has left local authority care through a Special Guardianship Order, adoption or a Residence Order or currently looked after e.g foster care or, Child with Special Educational Needs or Disability Living Allowance you must tick the appropriate box on the application form under section 3 (additional criteria).
Once the funding has been awarded it continues even if your circumstances change.
- if you think your child is eligible for the two year old funding, having checked the above criteria, then go to our 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)
- we would advise that you don't opt to save login details as this can cause issues with logging back into the parent portal.
- all early years 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:
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
- the funding will pay for childcare for up to 15 hours a week (38 weeks of the year term-time only)
- it may also be possible to stretch the funded hours over 50 weeks of the year, if your chosen early years provider is open all year round. However, by stretching the entitlement over more weeks of the year, this means you will be accessing less than the 15 hours per week.
- there is some flexibility with how the hours are used, but they can only be used for a maximum of 10 funded hours per day
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' under 'Childcare' from the filters on the page).