Funding for 2-year-olds
Some 2-year-olds will be eligible to access up to 15 hours per week of Early Education funding if funding is taken over 38 weeks of the year. Parents may spread the funding across more weeks (if the Childcare Provider can facilitate this) by accessing fewer hours across a greater number of weeks. This model of delivery is called ‘stretched funding’ The total amount of funding an eligible 2-year-old can access is 570 hours per year, between 1 September to 31 August.
An eligible child can access a funded place the term after their second birthday.
Funding start date
1 January and 31 March
the start of the summer term following their second birthday
1 April and 31 August
the start of the autumn term following their second birthday
1 September and 31 December
the start of the spring term following their second birthday
Parents can choose to use this funding with any Early Years Provider who is registered with the Local Authority to deliver government-funded places. Childcare providers may include a childminder, nursery class, day nursery or pre-school.
Are you eligible to access a funded place for your 2-year-old?
Parents who are interested in accessing a funded place for their 2-year-old must meet certain eligibility criteria. See if you are eligible under the national criteria. If you do not meet the national criteria, your child may be eligible to access a place under Coventry’s local criteria.
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
- £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
You cannot have more than £16,000 in savings or investments.
Proof of evidence will be required when applying and the completion of a Self-Declaration Form must be submitted with the application, along with copies of the your Biometric Cards or Aspen Cards.
Coventry's local criteria
The child you are applying for may be eligible to access government funding for 2-year-olds if one or more of the three criteria set out below is met:
- If the child is supported through a child protection plan or child in need plan. A letter from the lead Social Worker will be required as evidence.
- Your child has a diagnosed syndrome, condition or disability that significantly affects the ability to access learning or has 12 months developmental delay in 2 or more out of the 4 areas of need. These are:
- Communication and Interaction
- Cognition and Learning
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties
- Sensory and/or physical needs
- Your child is accessing additional services provided by health or local authority professionals.
Proof of your total annual household income, after tax and a letter from the relevant professional will need to be submitted as part of your application under this route.
Early Help support
Your child is accessing additional services provided by Health or Local Authority professionals
- You have a total annual household income of £20,000 or less a year or less, after tax.
Proof of your total annual household income, after tax and a letter from the relevant professional will need to be submitted when applying.
If you are a full-time Higher Education Student, you may be eligible for help with your childcare costs through the Childcare Grant.
Will my child continue to be able to access a funded 2-year-old place if my financial circumstances change?
Yes. Once your child has started a funded place, they will continue to receive funding until your child is eligible to access the universal funding entitlement for 3-&-4-year-olds.
Having checked the eligibility criteria, how do I apply for a place?
All applications must be made using our online Coventry Education Services Portal. If your child is eligible you will need to present the TYF code to your chosen Childcare Provider.
Guidance on using the Coventry Education Services Portal to apply for a funded 2-year-old place.
- Apply to obtain a funding code for your 2-year-old.
Please note: If evidence is required to support your application please complete the Self-Declaration Form and attach it to your online application along with proof of evidence.
What should I do next?
If the eligibility checker shows that your child is eligible to access a place, you should:
- Identify a childcare provider and check to make sure they deliver government-funded places.
- Access the provider's Ofsted information
- Have a look at the Provider’s website to see to make sure that the models of delivery they offer meet your needs.
- Contact the Childcare Provider to arrange a visit and explain that your child is eligible to receive 2-year-old funding.
If you require help finding a Childcare Provider, please get in touch by emailing EYCentral@coventry.gov.uk or by calling the Business, Sufficiency and Funding Team on 024 7697 5451.
New entitlements from 2024
As part of the Spring Budget 2023 announcements, the government shared that from April 2024, subject to meeting the conditions of the offer, working parents of 2-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours per week of Early Education funding, up to a maximum of 570 hours per year. By September 2025, this 15-hour-per-week entitlement will increase, so that all eligible 2-year-olds will be able to access up to 30 hours per week, up to a maximum of 1140 hours per year.
Coventry Business, Sufficiency and Funding TeamAddress: PO Box 15