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2 year old early education and childcare (15 hours)

Are you in receipt of income related benefits or on a low income? Is your child in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or does a child you care for receive support from the Local Authority?  If you answer yes to any of these questions, check to see if you are eligible for a 2 year old early education and chilcare place, what help you could get with childcare costs, and which support might be best for you, using the childcare calculator.


Families must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit to access free early learning and childcare as listed below

The parent(s) 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 £15,400 a year or less after tax
  • Tax credits and have an annual income of £16,190 or less a year before tax
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

 Special criteria will apply to some children as listed below:

  • With an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan
  • In receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Looked after by a Local Authority
  • Have left care through an adoption, residence order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

Applying for 2 year old early education and childcare

To apply you will need:

  • Child's date of birth
  • Parent's date of birth
  • Parent's home address
  • National Insurance number or National Asylum Seekers number

Please complete the online 2 year old early education application 

This application will take around 5 minutes to complete with an instant outcome of:

1) Eligible - you will receive a confirmation email with your eligible reference number that you can take to an approved childcare provider in Havering. 

2) Not eligible: Further information required – If you have selected you have a child with additional needs and/or Disabilities, that the child is Looked After Children, subject to a care order or has been Adopted from Local Authority Care additional evidence will be requested.

Eligible children can be funded from the term after their second birthday:

Child’s birthday

When your child can start early education funding

1 January to 31 March

on or after 1 April (Summer Term)

1 April to 31 August

on or after 1 September (Autumn Term)

1 September to 31 December

on or after 1 January (Spring Term)

3) Not eligible – information about other options will be shared.

Finding a 2 year old early education and childcare place

You can find a list of providers offering 2 year old early education and childcare places here.  

To access your child's place, you will need to:

  1. give them your offer code
  2. show them evidence of your child's date of birth (passport or birth certificate)
  3. show them proof of your home address
  4. complete any necessary paper work

The early education and childcare provider will confirm the availble start date for the place and clearly show any additional charges which may apply (The place is for education and childcare and may not cover nappies, activities, food, trips etc.)

If you are looking to change childcare provider you must ensure you have given notice to them before looking to take up a new childcare place.

If you’re a non-UK citizen who cannot claim benefits

If your immigration status says you have ‘no recourse to public funds’, you may still get free childcare for your 2 year old. You must live in England and your household income must be no more than:

  • £26,500 for families outside of London with one child
  • £34,500 for families within London with one child
  • £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
  • £38,600 for families within London with two or more children

You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.

2 year old early education and childcare film

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