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Information for parents about funded childcare for 2-year-olds

Information for parents about funded childcare for 2-year-olds

Some 2-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of Funded Entitlement per week over 38 weeks per year. This is known as 2-year-old funding.

Read more about:

Apply for 2-year-old funding or check your eligibility using our online form.

If you have received a letter confirming your 2-year-old is eligible to receive funded childcare, show your letter to the early years childcare provider you would like your child to attend.

If you don't know what childcare is available in your area contact York Family Information Service for a tailored list of Ofsted Registered childcare providers eligible to offer funded places for 2-year-olds. The childcare providers must be Ofsted registered as Good or Outstanding to offer a funded place.

If you need help completing the online form or not sure if you should apply, contact York Family Information Serviceby telephone: 01904 554444 or email: [email protected].

Once you have been approved as eligible for funded childcare for your 2-year-old, it will not be taken away. Even if your household income changes and you now earn over the threshold.

You don't have to use the full 15 hours a week. In fact you can use as little as 2.5 hours a week.

You don't have to receive benefits to be eligible.

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The table shows when eligible children can start their funded place. This is from the term after their second birthday.

A child who is 2: in Can start their place from
January, February or March the start of the summer term
April, May, June, July or August the start of the autumn term
September, October, November or December the start of the spring term

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You can use 15 hours of childcare or early years education for 38 weeks. Alternatively, some providers will allow you to stretch the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week.

Please speak to the childcare provider (playgroup, nursery or childminder) to discuss whether they offer 15 hours term time only (38 weeks) or a stretched offer (less hours the week but stretched across the year).

Your funded hours can be used at:

  • playgroup
  • day nursery
  • with a childminder

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Quality early years can help your child:

  • learn
  • play together with friends
  • experience new activities
  • messy play without you having to clear up at home
  • helps them become ready for school

It can also help you:

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

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If you already access childcare and want to start using the funded hours, HMRC includes the costs of childcare in their calculations. If you already pay for childcare and are in receipt of Tax Credits, you can claim for help to cover the costs of the childcare. You can also claim childcare costs as part of any Universal Credit payments. You need to notify HMRC as soon as possible if using the funded childcare for your 2-year-old reduces the cost of your childcare bill by £10 or more a week. If you're not in receipt of Tax Credits, you will need to apply for Universal Credit.

If you are already using childcare and wish to use the funded hours to increase the number of childcare hours your child attends and there is no change to the amount you're paying, you do not need to contact HMRC. Tax Credits and Universal Credit only contribute to some of the cost of childcare and not all of it. In this situation, where you wish to increase the amount of hours your child attends childcare, you'll be better off taking up the funded place as well as receiving Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit.

Find help paying for childcare.

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