Your 2 year old child may be eligible for 15 hours of free childcare, depending on income and the receipt of certain benefits.
We have recently introduced a Golden Ticket letter approach to offering 2 year old funding. This means that you may not need to apply for 2 year old funding and you may receive a Golden Ticket letter through the post. Please take your Golden Ticket letter to a childcare provider for your child to have 15 hours a week free childcare starting the term after their second birthday.
If you have an open claim to one of the benefits in the “Benefits, tax credits and income” section below, you will receive a Golden Ticket letter and you do not need to apply. If you have more than one eligible child (e.g. twins/triplets) please contact the Families Information Service. If you meet the criteria and your child turns 2 between 1st January 2021 and 31st March 2021, you will receive a Golden Ticket letter in January 2021. Your child will be able to start in a childcare setting from the April 2021 term (i.e. after the Easter school holiday).
If your child is about to turn three, you can find advice here about funded childcare for three and four year olds.
Am I eligible for a funded place for a two year old?
To be eligible for a funded two-year-old place, you must receive one of the following benefits or credits:
- 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;
- working tax credits and have a joint annual income of no more than £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 - from 1 April 2018, if you are entitled to universal credit you must have an annual net earned income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400, assessed on up to three of your most recent universal credit assessment periods; or
- the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit.
If you are accessing two year old funding, this may affect other benefits you are claiming. Please check with HMRC.
The parent who is in receipt of one of above benefits will receive the Golden Ticket letter through the post.
If you think you meet any of the above criteria, please contact the Families Information Service on 01609 533483.
Please contact the Families Information Service (FIS) on 01609 533483 if:-
- your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If your 2 year old child receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) you will be eligible for 2 year old funding and should receive a Golden Ticket letter. or
- if your two-year-old child has an education, health and care plan prepared under section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
You might also be interested in our SEND early years pages.
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; or
- 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.
Even if you have been confirmed as eligible for two-year-old funding by another local authority, you must still apply for funding with North Yorkshire if you would like to send your child to a North Yorkshire childcare provider.
If you are resident outside of North Yorkshire, i.e. you pay your council tax to a different authority but you want your child to attend a North Yorkshire provider, please contact the families information service on 01609 533483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 the Families Information Service on 01609 533483 if you think you may be eligible to two year old funding due to the above criteria.
Making your application
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 you can claim||We must receive applications by|
|1 January to 31 March||the beginning of term on or after 1 April||Last week in April|
|1 April to 31 August||the beginning of term on or after 1 September||Second week in September|
|1 September to 31 December||the beginning of term on or after 1 January||First week in January|
You may not be able to apply until three months before you are eligible, the system will not allow you to apply too early. Please refer to age guide above.
To offer the government funded two-year-old places, providers must have been judged 'good' or 'outstanding' at their most recent Ofsted inspection.
- To guarantee your child’s place, your early years provider must see confirmation of your two year old funding letter. You will receive this by email or post after your application has been checked.
- 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.