Early Years & Childcare

Funded Early Education for 2 Year Olds

If you are the parent or carer of a two year old and you receive certain benefits, you could be eligible to apply for a funded early education place.

Can I have funding for my 2 year old?

The 15 hours entitlement is available for around 40% of 2 year olds nationally. For details of eligibility click here.

How many hours can I have?

2 year funding is for a maximum of 15 hours a week in school term time or less hours per week spread over the year.

Once a child is eligible, when does the 2 year funding start?

You can check your eligibility any time in the term before your child's 2nd birthday. If eligible the funding can start at the beginning of the term after their 2nd birthday.

Where a child is confirmed eligible for 2 year funding part way through a term the funding can start from the date they are confirmed as eligible.

Can I backdate my funding if I am eligible?

The funding cannot be backdated before the date you have been issued with a 2 year eligibility code.

Is your child in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or an adopted child?


If your child is looked after or has a special guardianship order, has been adopted from care, or is receiving Disability Living Allowance, please ensure you answer the additional questions within the online application form.

Check my eligibility

Other ways to check your eligibility

Telephone application

Contact the Free School Meals team on 01225 394317 to make a telephone application. We will need you to tell us your National Insurance Number or National Asylum Seeker Support Number when you call.

Please note that the Local Authority will check your initial eligibility to qualifying benefits on your behalf with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)/ Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs/ National Asylum Support Service.

Early Years Entitlement Parent Information Factsheet 2017-2018 - 2 Year Funding