Free early education for 2 year olds, known locally as the Early Learning Programme for 2 Year Olds, is a statutory entitlement for all eligible children.

Eligibility criteria

To be entitled to a free place, parents/carers must be in receipt of one or more of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and have a household annual income not over £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Child is looked after by the Local Authority (e.g. foster care)
  • Working Tax Credits and earn no more than £16,190 a year
  • The child has a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan
  • The child attracts Disability Living Allowance
  • The child has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order
  • Universal Credit

Date of Birth

Eligible children can access a funded place the term following their second birthday

The offer

Eligible children are entitled to up to 15 hours per week of free early education for a total of 38 weeks, or 570 hours delivered flexibly. Free places are offered across the city in,

Childcare settings who are:

a) registered with Ofsted on the Early Years Register

b) on the Local Authorities Directory of Providers

c) graded as good or outstanding by Ofsted or, for those settings graded as satisfactory/requires improvement, can demonstrate they are working at good or outstanding through the Local Authorities quality improvement processes.

Schools who are:

a) graded as good or outstanding by Ofsted or, for those settings graded as satisfactory/requires improvement, can demonstrate they are working at good or outstanding through the Local Authorities quality improvement processes.

b) on the Local Authorities Directory of Providers

c) exempt from Early Years registration

Ensuring sufficient quality early learning places

The Local Authority are responsible for ensuring there are enough, quality funded places for every eligible child who wishes to access their entitlement. We are working with settings including schools, Ofsted registered day nurseries, pre-school playgroups, childminders and Children's Centres to expand their 2 year old provision where possible. 

Funding information

Read further information on funding for 2 year olds including: funding forms and processes and Early Years Single Funding Formula for 2 year olds.

 

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