Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

Funding for 2-year-olds for working families

If you are looking to apply for funding for 2-year-olds for working families – which comes into effect from 1 April 2024 – please visit the Childcare choices page and click on the ‘Apply now’ button under the heading ’15 and 30 hours support’.

Supported Families funding for 2-year-olds

Families with 2-year-old children who meet the criteria below can apply for funding for 2-year-olds.

  • Somerset Council 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

We will fund part-time early years entitlement places for 3- and 4-year-olds starting from the funding period after the child’s third birthday. This is called the universal entitlement and you can access it through your childcare provider. Find out more about Early years entitlement.

How to apply

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Please only apply if you wish to access a childcare provider in Somerset

There is an online form which can be completed using the ‘Apply now’ button below. Or, you can print out and post a copy of the form by clicking on the link in Downloads.

Apply for funding for 2-years-olds

This form has 4 to 5 pages and will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to complete.

The funding periods are:

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

You can see more details about the entitlement on our Early Years Entitlement page.

Please see our Finding childcare page for more about what support is available.

Entitlement

Families can get funding for 2-year-olds if they receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) – not Contribution related
  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance – 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 HMRC) of less than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on – the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you and your partner have a combined income from work of less than £15,400 a year after tax

2-year-olds can also get funding if they:

  • get Disability Living Allowance
  • have an Education, Health and Care plan
  • are looked after by the Local Authority
  • have been adopted
  • have left care through special guardianship or child arrangement orders

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

Non-Benefit related additional eligibility criteria

Children of families who don’t receive these benefits may also qualify for funding for 2-year-olds if the family’s annual household income is no higher than:

  • £26,500 for families with one child
  • £30,600 for families with two or more children

And the family does not have more than £16,000 in capital and savings.

Also if the parent or carer meets any of the following criteria:

  • are a Zambrano or Chen carer
  • a subset of failed asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • hold a British National (Overseas) passport
  • are a spousal visa, work visa or student visa holder
  • have no immigration status
  • have a UK Ancestry Visa
  • have claimed asylum in the UK and are awaiting a decision
  • have temporary protection status under Section 12 of the Nationality and Borders Act
  • have pre-settled status but do not meet the qualifying right to reside test
  • are in a family who have no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • are in a family receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction

If this applies to you, please complete this application form and return it with the appropriate evidence to fsm@somerset.gov.uk.

Outcome

All applications will be processed within 5 to 10 working days. You will be notified of the outcome in writing and claims will not be backdated. If you are successful, you will be sent a list of approved providers and the date your child is eligible.

If your application is successful, your details will automatically be used to check to see if you qualify for Early Years Pupil Premium. If you qualify for Early Years Pupil Premium, you will be notified separately. Details on Early Years Pupil Premium

You will need to contact a provider from the list and check if they have an available place for your child. The provider will ask to see the letter and a copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport.

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Only providers on the list that we send you are approved for funding for 2-year-olds.

If you wish to access a provider that is not on the list, please phone the Entitlements Team on 01823 355765 to see if your chosen provider can be funded. If it cannot be funded or you access a provider that is not on the list without contacting us, you will have to pay.

Only settings rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted can take children that have been awarded funding for 2-year-olds.

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

If you have been offered funding for 2-year-olds, this will continue, even if your circumstances change, until your child can claim the Early Years Entitlement. You can get more information on our Early Years Entitlement page or by emailing eyfunding@somerset.gov.uk.

Last reviewed: May 29, 2024 by Ian

Next review due: November 29, 2024

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