Funded Early Education and Childcare for 2 year olds

Funded Early Education and Childcare for 2-year-olds is for families in England, receiving some additional forms of government support.

Your child may be eligible if you are in receipt of one of the national criteria set out below:

  • The parent must meet at least one of the National Criteria:
    • Income Support
    • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)
    • Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Universal Credit and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
    • The Guaranteed element of Pension Credit
    • Child Tax Credit Working Tax Credit (or Both), and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
    • The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit).
  • Or the child must:
    • Be a looked after child/in foster care
    • Have a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
    • Be eligible for Disability Living Allowance
    • If the child has left care in England and Wales through special guardianship, child arrangements order or through an adoption order.

Am I eligible?

To find out if your eligible please complete an application form which you can do online at the link below. 

Alternatively you can gain support at your local Start Well Family Centre or email Family Information Service Contact Centre.

If your application is successful, please look out for confirmation by email from Victoria Forms and take this email to your chosen childcare provider. Most decisions are immediate however, if more information is needed, a member of the Early Learning and Childcare Team will contact you.

If you’re a non-UK citizen who cannot claim benefits

If your immigration status says you have 'no recourse to public funds', you may still be entitled to funded childcare for your 2-year-old. You must live in England and your household income must be no more than:

  • £26,500 for families outside of London with one child
  • £34,500 for families within London with one child
  • £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
  • £38,600 for families within London with two or more children

You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.

Applications are to be made by completing the application form below and providing the following supporting documents:

  • Biometric Residence Permit (front and back) or Share Code
  • Payslips for the last 3 months (if applicable) for you and your partner and/or
    • Latest P60
    • Letter from your employer cofirming your salary and any other support they provide
    • Letter from Local Authority confirming support (if applicable)
  • Bank statements held by you, your partner, or joint accounts (if applicable), for at least 3 months. This includes current and savings accounts.

Please return completed application form and supporting documents to where a member of the team will review. You will receive notification whether you have or have not been successful.

When to apply

If your child’s eligible, you can start claiming funded early education after your child turns 2. The date you can apply will depend on when their birthday is as proof of eligibility only lasts for two months from the day of application.

A child turns 2 in the periodWill become eligible for a 2 year funded place
1st April to 31st August 1st Sept (Autumn term)
1st Sept to 31st Dec 1st January (Spring term)
1st Jan to 31st March 1st April (Summer term)

How do I find a place?

Our Our Town Directory has a list of all the childcare services that offer this funded entitlement.

You can search this list by area to find your nearest childcare providers. Alternatively, you can contact the Family Information Service who will be able to provide a list of places best suited to you.

Once you know which childcare provider you are interested in you should contact them directly to visit and enrol your child.

Can I get further help with my childcare costs?

The government has developed a number of new ways to help parents with their childcare costs for children of all ages.

© Wigan Council