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2 Year Old Funding

Understanding 2-Year-Old Funding

In the United Kingdom, early childhood education and childcare play a fundamental role in children's development and future success. Recognising the importance of providing access to quality early learning experiences, the Government offers various funding programs, including initiatives specifically tailored for 2-year-olds. We will cover what it is, when you can apply, which locations are eligible and the benefits of the scheme, amongst other important questions regarding the funding program.

What Is 2-Year-Old Funding and When Does It Start?

2-year-old funding is a Government scheme, starting on 1st April 2024, that ensures children aged 2 can receive 15 hours of free childcare a week.

According to Citizens Advice, if you are eligible you will get 15 hours of funded childcare the term after your child turns 2 years old. If your child is already 2 or turns 2 before March 31 2024, you will get the hours from 1 April 2024. If your child turns 2 between 1 April and 31 August 2024 you will get the hours from 1 September 2024.

From September 2024, the scheme will be extended to include children aged 9 months and older.

Who Is Eligible?

Generally, people who are in receipt of the following benefits may qualify for 2-year-old funding, according to GOV.UK;

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Tax credits

Funding is also available for;

  • Children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities
  • Children looked after by local authority
  • Children adopted from care
  • Children currently in care

How Can I Apply?

In order to apply for the free childcare, you will need your National Insurance number and a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) if you are self-employed. Alongside this, you will need the UK birth certificate reference number (if you have one) of any children you are applying for, and the date you started or are due to start work.

Once this has been completed, you can apply for a code, which is to be given to your childcare provider; the application process usually takes around 20 minutes, and it is possible to find out if you are eligible right away, though sometimes it can take up to 7 days. Your eligibility needs to be reconfirmed every 3 months; if you applied more than 3 months before the term starts, you will have to reconfirm your eligibility within your account in order to keep your code valid for use.

Where Can I Use This Free Childcare?

It is important to know that not all childcare providers will offer the newly funded hours program, as they may be awaiting further information from the government or local authority. However, many settings, such as Abbey Wood Grange Nursery, are eligible to redeem the free childcare; contact your current childcare provider to see if they are offering the funded hours, or enquire about a new childcare setting and if they are taking part if you are looking to start somewhere soon.

Will Childcare Providers Fill Up Quicker When 2-Year-Old Funding Starts?

Since more families will have access to childcare due to the newly funded hours, it is natural to assume that childcare providers will become busier. Therefore, it would be wise to get in touch with your local childcare provider to inquire about spaces available, as well as if they are taking part in the program. Here at Abbey Wood Grange Nursery, we currently have spaces available, so get in contact with us if you’re in need of childcare and located in and around the South Croydon area.

What Benefits Are There For Me and My 2-Year-Old?

Participating in the funding program offers a range of benefits for families and children, such as;

Early Learning Opportunities

During this funding program, children will have access to high-quality early education, fostering cognitive development, boosting language skills and creating a “ready for school” feeling.

Developing Social Skills

Interaction with other children in a childcare setting promotes social skills, teamwork and emotional resilience. These skills will be important as your child develops and matures, preparing them for more formal education in the years to come.

Parental Support

Due to the financial assistance with childcare costs for families, parents are enabled to work, pursue education or undertake training opportunities. The funded program means parents are able to save more for formal education costs in the future, such as equipment and so on.

Are You Looking for a Preschool or Nursery for Your Child?

Are you looking for a nursery or preschool near the following areas; Kenley, Sanderstead, Coulsdon, Warlingham, Riddlesdown, South Croydon, Whyteleafe, Purley? You can redeem your 2-year-old funding here; get in touch with us so we can discuss your requirements.