Funding for disadvantaged 2 year olds

Some families of two-year-old children may be entitled to 15 hours childcare support if they receive some additional forms of government support.

Eligible families who receive additional forms of government support may be entitled to 15 hours of government funded childcare the term after their child turns two years old.

Check if you are eligible for funding

Please read the eligibility criteria on GOV.UK website or our own eligibility section before applying for funding using the North Yorkshire Council online application form below.

If your child is about to turn three, you can find advice here about funded childcare for three and four year olds.

Online application process

Apply for funding

Apply for funding for disadvantaged two-year-olds

You will receive an email response to your application. Please check all folders including your spam and junk folder.

If you have any queries, please contact us.

If you receive a qualifying benefit:

You should not need to submit supporting evidence online. You will need the following information before you start the online application:

  • parent’s name and date of birth (this must be the parent who has the qualifying benefit)
  • contact details
  • National Insurance or National Asylum Seekers Number
  • child’s name and date of birth

At the end of the eligibility check, your result will be displayed as 'Found'. You will receive an email with a unique code which you must give to your childcare provider.

If you do not receive a qualifying benefit, but think you meet other eligibility criteria:

You might get a 'Not Found' result on your first eligibility check. Make sure the details you have submitted are correct and the same as HMRC has for you, for example, same surname/correct dates of birth. Make any changes and re-submit. You may also need to provide supporting document to your application.

This could be:

  • your Universal Credit statement for the past three months
  • a court order documentation
  • a letter confirming an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is in place
  • a letter confirming a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) award

We will check your supporting document and contact you with a unique code if you are eligible.

Eligibility criteria for funding for disadvantaged two year olds

Benefits, tax credits and income

  • your child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • income support
  • child tax credit and have a joint annual income not over £16,190
  • the working tax credit four-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for working tax credit)
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit and your joint annual income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments, assessed on up to three of your most recent universal credit assessment periods
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

If you are accessing the funding for disadvantaged two year olds, this may affect other benefits you are claiming. Please check with HMRC.

What about children with a disability?

Please contact us if:

If your child receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) please apply using the online application form. If you have any queries, please contact FIS as above.

You might also be interested in our SEND early years pages.

What about looked-after children or children in foster care?

Children looked after by a local authority (under section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989, see explanation below), such as with foster carers, are also entitled to a funded two-year-old place.

Children are also eligible if they are no longer looked after by a local authority as a result of an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangement order (within the meaning of section 8(1) of the Children Act 1989) which relates to either or both of the following:

  • with whom the child is to live
  • when the child is to live with any person

Looked after children are children who are provided with accommodation by a local authority for more than 24 hours on a voluntary basis or who are under a care order. The child may be living with foster carers, in a residential home or with parents or other relatives.

Please contact us to apply for funding for disadvantaged two-year-olds.

What if I am not eligible, or what if I need more than 15 hours?

If you are a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits

If you are a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits, your two-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and 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’)

A two-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have either:

  • leave to remain with ‘no recourse to public funds’ on family or private life grounds
  • support from your local council because you have ‘a child in need’, for example, they have a disability or a child protection plan
  • the right to live in the UK because you’re the main carer of a British citizen (known as a ‘Zambrano Carer’)

Please contact us if you think you may be eligible for funding for disadvantaged two year olds due to the above criteria.

Eligibility for families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)

From 1 September 2022, the Department for Education has extended the eligibility criteria for two year old funding to families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) for the following groups:

  1. those with a UK ancestry visa
  2. those with temporary protection status under Section 12 of the Nationality and Borders Act
  3. those with pre-settled status with no qualifying right to reside

Eligibility is subject to the maximum income thresholds as follows:

  • £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
  • a maximum capital threshold of £16,000 in all areas

Applications cannot be processed through the online application process. Families must contact us for an application form.

When is my child eligible?

If your child is eligible, you can take up their place from the beginning of the term after their second birthday. The date you can claim will depend on when their birthday is.

Child's birthday When your funding begins
1 January to 31 March the beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 August the beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 December the beginning of term on or after 1 January

Can I use my 15 hours at any childcare provider?

To offer the government funded two-year-old places, providers must have been judged 'good' or 'outstanding' at their most recent Ofsted inspection.

You can see advice about choosing childcare here.

How do I claim my place?

  • to guarantee your child’s place, your early years provider must see your online confirmation email
  • the early years funding is paid directly to the early years provider - you should be asked to sign a parental agreement with your childcare provider
  • all childcare providers should have an Admissions Policy in place which clearly states how they offer early education and childcare places - you may wish to ask for a copy of this
  • childcare providers may make additional charges for extra hours and consumables such as food or nappies, which must be agreed before a place is taken