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Funded early learning for two year olds

Early learning childcare encourages your child to:

  • learn
  • play
  • make new friends
  • experience new activities
  • get ready for school.

It can also help you:

  • have more time
  • take up a college course
  • go back to work
  • meet other parents
  • get ideas of how to help your child play and learn.

Your two year old can get funded early learning and childcare if you live in England and if you claim one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit - if you and your partner have a combined income from work of less than £15,400 a year after tax
  • Tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • The Working Tax Credit 4 week run on, this is the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
  • Children of Zambrano Carers if their parents meet similar low level income requirements to others eligible for the scheme
  • Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private/family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights who meet the same criteria of economic disadvantage
  • Children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 – ‘the 1999 Act’) who meet the same criteria of economic disadvantage.

Or?

Your two year old: 

  • is looked after by the Derby City Local Authority
  • has an adoption order
  • has a residence order or child arrangements order
  • has a special guardianship order
  • receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If you are entitled, your child can start the term after they turn two and finish at the end of the term in which they turn three. All families are eligible for funded three and four year old childcare, find out more about three and four year old childcare.

  • If your child's birthday falls between 1st January and 31st March, they are eligible in the summer term after their second birthday.
  • If your child's birthday falls between 1st April and 31st August, they are eligible in the autumn term after their second birthday.
  • If your child's birthday falls between 1st September and 31st December, they are eligible in the spring term after their second birthday.

To find out if you are eligible, please contact the Family Information Service on 01332 640758. You can also apply online from the comfort of your own home.

You can also visit the government's Childcare Choices website which outlines a range of other funding options you may be entitled to. It has a childcare calculator to give you an estimate of how much help you could get with childcare costs. Parents and carers can sign up for updates and notifications on tax free childcare as well as other government childcare cost schemes.

Have a look at our childcare directory to see all the providers offering two year old places in your area.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions‌ for the answers to your questions about this offer.