Your two year old child may be eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare, depending on income and the receipt of certain benefits.

From November 2020, we will be introducing a Golden Ticket letter approach to offering two year old funding.

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

You can claim up to 15 hours per week for up to 38 weeks of the year.

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:

  • 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;
  • support through part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act; or
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit.

It is recommended that you contact HMRC if you will be accessing two-year-old funding as this may affect other benefits you are currently claiming.

The parent who has parental responsibility should make the two-year-old funding application.

If you think you meet any of the above criteria, please contact the Families Information Service on 01609 533483.

Contact the early years funding team for advice on 01609 532394 if:

  • your two-year-old child receives Disability Living Allowance; 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

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:

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.

Apply for two year old funded childcare

You can check if your child is eligible and apply for two-year-old funding here:

​Apply for two-year-old funding

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 the families information service on 01609 533483 or email

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.

You can see advice about choosing childcare here.

  • 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.