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15 hours childcare funding for eligible 2-year-olds

Check if your child is eligible for 2-year-old childcare funding, how to apply, what you are entitled to, what to do if your income or circumstances change and how to access funded early education within the East Riding.

What is 'funded early education and childcare' for 2-year-olds?

If eligible you can have up to 15 hours of 'funded early education and childcare' for 38 weeks of the year during school term time (570 hours in total). 

Some childcare settings or childminders may be able to stretch the hours over school holidays so you may access fewer hours over more weeks. The hours can be split between two childcare settings or childminders. 

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What are the benefits for you and your 2-year-old?

Your 2 year old may be able to attend funded early education and childcare giving you the chance to do some training or study or take a part-time job. Or if you just need a few hours a week to spend with your younger children, this could be for you.

For your 2-year-old, you can be confident they are receiving quality early education and childcare helping them with their early learning and giving them new experiences with other children.

Currently, all 3 and 4-year-olds are entitled to funded early education and childcare before they start school. This is now on offer to some two-year-olds. 

Research shows children who go to high-quality early education and childcare providers make good progress with their language, physical and social development. When the time comes for them to go to school they are better prepared and this advantage stays with them right through school and into adulthood.

Is my 2-year-old entitled to 15 hours of funded childcare?

Your child is entitled if one of the criteria in the three lists below applies:

Eligible criteria (no application required)

  • Your child is looked after by the Local Authority (defined under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989)
  • Your child has left care through special guardianship or child arrangement order

If one of the above criteria applies to you, you do not need to apply. You should receive a letter from East Riding of Yorkshire Council confirming your child is entitled to a start date.

If you haven’t received a letter or require further information and advice, contact the FISH team:

Tel: (01482) 396469

Email: fish@eastriding.gov.uk

Eligible criteria (proof required) 

  • Your child has left care through adoption 
  • Your child has a Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan prepared under Section 71 of the Social Security and Contributions and Benefits Act 1992

If one of the above criteria applies to you, you will need to send in proof of the criteria to fish@eastriding.gov.uk, you will then receive a letter from East Riding of Yorkshire Council confirming your child is entitled with a start date. 

Eligible criteria (application required) 

  • Tax Credits and have an annual household income of less than £16,190 before tax
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit and an annual net earned income of £15,400 or less (this will be assessed on up to three of the applicants most recent Universal Credit assessment periods)
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • The Working Tax Credit 4 week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Support through part 6 of The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

If one of the above applies to you, please apply here:

East Riding Parent Portal (external council website)

Where can I find an approved childcare provider for my 2-year-old?

Your child can attend any Ofsted registered day nursery, preschool, some nursery schools, schools, independent schools or childminders which have been judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ following an Ofsted inspection.  

Visit the FISH Family Service Directory to search for childcare settings in your area who offer funded places for 2-year-olds:

Search for childcare settings offering 2 year old funded places

Read more about Ofsted reports and how to view them.

Please note: there is no guarantee your child will be able to attend the childcare setting of your first choice. If you have not been able to find a place with a 'good' or 'outstanding' childcare setting in your area which meets your needs or you want help with finding a childcare setting, please call the FISH team on (01482) 396469.

How do I apply for funding?

You can apply online: 

Apply for 15 hours funding for a 2-year-old (online form)  

2-year parental portal guidance notes (word 700kb)

You can also apply by contacting the FISH team on: 

Tel: (01482) 396469 

What happens next?

You will receive a letter or code within 2 weeks confirming whether your child is entitled and with a start date. If you have not heard anything in this time please contact the FISH team on (01482) 396469. 

Please keep hold of this letter as you need to take it along to your chosen childcare setting or childminder as proof that your child is eligible. You also need to take your child’s birth certificate to confirm they are the right age to start and proof of your address. 

Not eligible?

If you are told that you are not eligible for 2-year-old funding, but you are able to show evidence that you should be eligible, you must visit your local Children's Centre and arrange to complete the confirmation of eligibility form. 

Please note: only certain childcare settings and childminders who are rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding' by Ofsted can offer two-year-old funded places. Read more about finding the right childcare provider.

When can my 2-year-old receive their funding?

You should apply as early as possible during the term your child turns two.  

A child born between: Is eligible from: 
1 September to 31 December The start of the term beginning on or following 1 January after the child's second birthday
1 January to 31 March The start of the term beginning on or following 1 April after the child's second birthday
1 April to 31 August The start of the term beginning on or following 1 September after the child's second birthday

After you have applied you will be sent a confirmation letter with the date that your child can start their Funded Early Education place. This date will be the start of the term after you have applied.  

What if my income or circumstances change?

Once you have received a letter or code confirming your child is eligible for funding it will not be withdrawn even if your income or circumstances change.

Do I need to tell anyone if I begin to receive funding?

If you are claiming help towards childcare costs through the childcare element of Working Tax Credit you need to inform HMRC by calling 0345 300 3900 as soon as possible before your child starts as you cannot claim help for funded early education and childcare.  

If you delay informing HMRC you may be paid too much and will have to pay it back. You may also be liable to a penalty of up to £300 if you do not report the change within the time limit of one month. You can still claim the childcare element of Working Tax Credit for any additional childcare you pay for outside of funded early education and childcare.

Can I use this funding over the school holidays?

Parents may be able to use their funded early education across the entire year, this is called the 'Stretched Offer'.

The annual Funded Early Education entitlement per child starts from the Autumn Term (so should be calculated from 1 September to 31 August).

The stretched offer is for children who take up their funded entitlement and want to spread their funded hours across more of the year. The ‘Stretched Offer’ is not to be confused with spreading a parent’s bill over 12 equal monthly payments, as the ‘Stretched Offer’ relates only to Funded early education, not to any hours paid for. 

Parents should discuss the hours they would like to take with their childcare provider as not all providers offer the ‘Stretched Offer’.

Hours can be stretched over the academic year (September to August) or term by term. 

Some providers may charge for meals, snacks or optional extras as these may not always be included within the funded entitlement. If you take more than your funded early education hours there will be a charge from the provider for these additional hours. Please check with your provider for full details of any additional charges.

What happens when my child turns 3 years old?

Your child will be entitled to 15 hours funding for 3 and 4-year-olds from the term after their third birthday until they start school. Your child may also be entitled to the extended entitlement offering an extra 15 hours per week. Read more about 30 hours funding for eligible 3 and 4-year-olds.

What should I do if I am not satisfied that my child has received their Funded Early Education entitlement in the correct way?

In the first instance, it is usually best if you discuss your concerns with your childcare provider or the person in charge. If you are a parent or carer and cannot resolve your concern through discussion, you can make a formal complaint to the provider. All providers should have a complaints procedure in place that is published and accessible for parents, who are not satisfied their child has received their funded entitlement in the correct way, as set out in the 'East Riding of Yorkshire Council Provider Agreement for funded early education and childcare for two-three and four-year-olds'. 

For a summary of the terms of the agreement please see section 5 of the Parental Agreement, which your childcare provider should have asked you to complete:

Parental Agreement (word 60kb) 

If you are unable to resolve your concern directly with the provider, you can follow the council's complaints procedure. Childcare providers should make parents aware that they can take their complaint to the council. 

If you wish to take your complaint to the council you should call the Families' Information Service Hub (FISH)  on (01482) 396469 to give the details of your complaint. The complaint will then be passed onto an officer in the Early Years Service. 

The officer will contact both yourself and the childcare provider within 10 working days to gather full details and any documentary evidence that may be required, (such as copies of invoices or the signed parental agreement and declaration form). 

The council will reply in writing to both the parent and childcare provider, no later than 10 working days after gathering all relevant information, setting out their assessment of the situation and stating whether the actions of the provider are in accordance with the provider agreement. 

If you are not satisfied with the way in which your complaint has been dealt with by the Local Authority or believe the Local Authority has acted unreasonably, you can make a complaint to the Local Authority Ombudsman. These complaints will only be considered when the local complaints procedure has been exhausted.