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2 Year Old Education & Childcare Funding

Your child may be eligible, if you are on a low income, some types of benefit or meet certain other criteria, you might be eligible to apply for 570 hours funded early education or childcare per year (15 hours per week over 38 weeks) for your two-year-old. 

Last reviewed March 2020.

2 Year Funding Childcare Providers
Click on the link above
  • 2 Year Funded Childcare Full List
  • 2 Year Funding Childcare Immediate Vacancies

What is 2 Year Funding?

Parents of some two-year-olds are entitled to funded childcare or early education for up to 15 hours per week (up to 570 hours per year) from the start of the term after the child's second birthday

  • Born between 1st January to 31st March can claim funding from the term beginning on 1st April
  • Born between 1st April to 31st  August can claim from funding the term beginning on 1st September
  • Born between 1st September to 31 December can claim funding from the term beginning on 1st January

Two Year Funding Eligibility Flowchart 2020 to find out more.

Does my child qualify for a funded 2 year place?

Your 2-year-old can get funded early education and childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:

Even if you do not meet the criteria above, you may still be eligible for the funding for your child under the following non-economic criteria:

  • you have received a DWP postcard from the Local Authority with a unique reference number (URN)on
  • the child has been in local-authority care for 1 day or more
  • the child has been adopted from local-authority care
  • the child has left local-authority care under a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or an adoption order
  • the child has a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan (EHC) 
  • they get Disability Living Allowance

In September 2019 the Government extended the eligibility criteria for the free early education entitlement for the most disadvantaged two-year olds. Two-year-old children in low income families are now able to take up a free place when their parent(s) have one of the following types of immigration status:

• Zambrano carer (derivative right to reside in the UK under European law as the primary carer of a British child or dependent adult)

• Leave to remain with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) granted on family or private life (Article 8) grounds

• Been refused asylum in the UK and receiving support from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Parents who are Zambrano carers or who have leave to remain with NRPF, must also be able to demonstrate that they have a low income.


How do I apply for the funding?

You can check whether your child qualifies and apply for funding on the Citizen Portal you will need to register, then sign in and complete the application form . If you need help with the online application, please talk to your health visitor, your local children's centre or Early Years providers. 

Please use the Parent's Guide if you need assistance with completing the on line application form.

I am eligible, what happens next?

You will receive an email with a reference number confirming your eligibility for 2 year old funding.

You will need to share this reference number with your chosen childcare provider. Your childcare provider will use this reference number to place your child at their setting and claim funding.

Please note: not all childcare providers in Reading are registered to deliver 2 year old funding.

I am not eligible, what happens next?

More information on help with childcare costs is available on the government’s website Childcare Choices

If you need assistance, please contact the Family Information Service by:

• email: 

• phone: 0118 9373777 (option 2)

Which childcare providers can I use?

For 2 year funded places, the childcare provider must have a 'good' or 'outstanding' OFSTED rating.

Above you will see two boxes that provide links to childcare providers who offer funded places and those that can offer immediate vacancies.

Who do I speak to to find out more?

For further information on 2 year funding please contact the Family Information Service on 0118 9373777 (option 2). To access information on providers offering 2 year places search through the childcare options on the following page Childcare Search 


You can also visit your local Children's Centre, where staff will be able to provide further information and assistance.