The current offer

Funding for 2-year-olds in low income families

Families with 2-year-old children who claim certain benefits and meet the criteria can apply for funding for a childcare place. Somerset Council will pay for a place for up to 570 hours over a year at a registered childcare provider. For example, this could be 15 hours a week for 38 weeks or fewer hours for more weeks (15 hours is the maximum number of hours available per week). Children become eligible in the funding period after their second birthday.

2-year-olds can also get funded childcare if they:

  • are looked after by the Local Authority
  • have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • get Disability Living Allowance
  • have left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order

For further information and the eligibility criteria, and to apply, go to www.somerset.gov.uk/2YO

Early Years Entitlement (15 hours Universal Entitlement)

All 3-year-old and 4-year-old children are eligible for up to 570 hours of funded childcare over a year, for example, 15 hours per week for 38 weeks. The offer can be ‘stretched’ so that fewer hours per week are taken over more weeks. 15 hours is the maximum number of hours available per week. Children become eligible in the funding period after their third birthday.

Information about funding for 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds

30 hours Extended Entitlement

Working parents can claim the Extended Entitlement for an additional 570 hours over a year, making a total of 1140 hours a year, for example 30 hours a week for 38 weeks. The offer can be ‘stretched’ so that fewer hours per week are taken over more weeks. 30 hours is the maximum number of hours available per week.

Parents of 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds will need to meet the criteria to be eligible for up to 1140 hours a year funded childcare.

The expanded childcare offer

From April 2024 working parents of two-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours of funded childcare per week for 38 weeks a year (a maximum of 570 hours per year).

For parents who have received a valid eligibility code, Somerset Council will pay for a place for up to 570 hours a year at a registered childcare provider. The offer can be ‘stretched’ so that fewer hours per week are taken over more weeks (15 hours is the maximum number of hours available per week).

From September 2024 this offer will be extended to working parents of children from the age of nine months.

From September 2025 working parents of children from nine months to five years will be entitled to 30 hours of funded childcare per week for 38 weeks a year (a maximum of 1140 hours per year).

For parents who have received a valid eligibility code, Somerset Council will pay for a place for up to 1140 hours a year at a registered childcare provider. The offer can be ‘stretched’ so that fewer hours per week are taken over more weeks (30 hours is the maximum number of hours available per week).

Further help with childcare costs

Check what help you could get with childcare costs

Tax Free Childcare

Tax free childcare reduces the costs of childcare for working families of children aged 0 to 12 years (up to 17 years for children with disabilities).

Tax-Free Childcare

Tax Credits/Universal Credits

Parents on low income can claim the childcare element of Tax Credits or Universal Credits.

If you already claim tax credits, you can add an extra amount of Working Tax Credit to help cover the cost of childcare.

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit.

Childcare Vouchers

The Childcare Vouchers scheme is now closed to new applicants.

Care to Learn Scheme

Students under 20 who are parents could receive help with childcare costs from the Care to Learn scheme.

Care to Learn: Overview

Using the help with childcare costs

SEND information – part of our Local Offer

SEND Funding System

You can find information about the funding available to meet the education needs of pupils aged 0 to 25 here

Last reviewed: October 25, 2023 by Keri

Next review due: April 25, 2024

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