The 2 year-olds' entitlement scheme is for children whose parents or carers have a low income.
If you are eligible, we will pay early education and childcare costs for up to 15 hours a week during term-time, or for fewer hours each week but for more weeks of the year.
You are eligible if you receive one of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker'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
- tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- the Working Tax Credit 4-week run-on – the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
You are also eligible if your 2 year-old child:
- has an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- gets Disability Living Allowance
- is looked after by the council
- has left care under an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangements order
If you're not a European Economic Area (EEA) citizen and you cannot claim benefits but you get support through the Immigration and Asylum Act, you may be eligible if you have either:
- claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision – known as 'Part 6'
- been refused asylum in the UK – known as 'Section 4'
If you are the carer of a 2 year-old child, you may be eligible if your household income after tax is £15,400 a year or less, and you have either:
- leave to remain in the UK with 'no recourse to public funds' on family or private life grounds under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
- 'no recourse to public funds' because of your immigration status – or lack of immigration status – and get support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989
- the right to live in the UK because you are the main carer of a British citizen – known as a Zambrano Carer
'No recourse to public funds' can mean, for example, you cannot claim benefits.
You may only use this funding with approved Ofsted-registered childcare providers, which includes child minders.
This scheme is not intended to cover the costs of:
- buying items – for example, nappies or sun cream
- activities – for example, day trips
- additional hours
If you are eligible, you can apply for free childcare for 2 year-olds.
A video shows why childminders are vitally important providers for 2 year-olds.