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Introduction

Families with 2-year-old children who meet the criteria below can apply for funding. We will pay for a place for up to 570 hours over the year at a registered childcare provider. A maximum of 15 hours per week is available.

Children become eligible in the funding period after their second birthday.

The funding periods are:

  • Spring 1 January to 31 March
  • Summer 1 April to 31 August
  • Autumn 1 September to 31 December

Entitlement

Parents or carers who receive any of the following are entitled to funding for 2-year-olds:

  • Universal Credit – if you and your partner have a combined income from work of less than £15,400 a year after tax
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) – not Contribution related
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA) – not Contribution based
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit.
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit with an annual taxable income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) of less than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on – the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Children are entitled if any of the following applies to them:

  • Children who are 2 and receive Disability Living Allowance
  • Children who are 2 and have been adopted, or who have left care through special guardianship or child arrangement orders
  • Children who are 2 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • Children who are 2 and are looked after by the local authority

How to apply

Evidence will only need to be sent without prior request if an application is made and the child qualifies by receiving Disability Living Allowance. In this case, a copy of the latest award letter from the Department for Work and Pensions will need to be submitted before the application can be processed. We recommend attaching the evidence to the form at the time of application.

If the parent is submitting the application online, they can send a copy to freeschoolmeals@somerset.gov.uk or post a copy to Entitlements Team, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY.

If the parent or carer is successful, they will be notified in writing and we will send them a list of approved providers in their area.

Ask the parent or carer for their acceptance letter and a copy of their child’s birth certificate or passport before offering them a funded 2-year-old place at your establishment. If the date of birth on the letter is not the same as the date of birth on the legal documentation, contact us immediately at 01823 357039, as the child may not be eligible on the date stated on the acceptance letter.

Important information

important

Only settings rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted can take children that have been awarded funding for 2-year-olds. Providers must apply to Somerset Council in order to take funded 2-year-olds.

If parents or carers access more than the entitlement or any additional services at an approved provider, for example, food, you will ask the parents or carers to pay for these services.

If all the places have been allocated, the child should be placed on a waiting list, and if a funded place becomes available at a later date, parents and carers must be notified.

If they have been offered funding for 2-year-olds, this will continue, even if their circumstances change, until their child can claim the Early Years Entitlement.

You can find more information on our Early years entitlement information for providers page or phone 0300 123 2224 or email eyfunding@somerset.gov.uk.

All applicants for funding for 2-year-olds will be registered with the local Children’s Centre.

Change of address

The change of address form below must be completed if a child has recently moved to a new address. It is important that this is completed otherwise the address we hold for the child will be incorrect, and the starting school information could be sent to the wrong address.

Change of address form

This form has 4 pages and will take approximately 3 minutes to complete.

Positive experiences of schools delivering quality provision

Film clips to promote positive experiences of schools delivering quality provision for 2-year-olds

Last reviewed: December 6, 2023 by Helly

Next review due: June 6, 2024

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