Funding for 2 year olds
Due to the current situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), applications sent in via the post or dropped into County Hall will take much longer to process as we have very limited access to our office. We would recommend all applications are now sent electronically by completing the online application form. Applications sent in electronically will be processed as quickly as possible, however, if applicants don’t agree for the outcome to be e-mailed, it will take longer for letters to be sent notifying applicants of the outcome. If you have sent your application electronically, have not heard after 10 working days and need to know the outcome, please ring on 01823 355765 to find out the status of your application.
Families with 2 year old children who meet the criteria below can apply for funding for 2 year olds. Somerset County 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 three and four 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.
This information is for people who live in Somerset.
How to apply
There is an online form which can be completed using the ‘Apply now’ button below. You can print out and post a copy of the form by clicking on the link in Downloads.
The form has 4 to 5 pages and should take 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.
Families who receive any of the following are entitled to funding for 2 year olds:
- Income Support (IS)
- Employment and 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 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
- Children who are 2 and attract Disability Living Allowance
- Children who are 2 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan
- Children who are 2 and are looked after by the Local Authority
- Children who are 2 and have been adopted, or who have left care through special guardianship or child arrangement orders
Please note: Only the benefits listed above qualify for funding for 2 year olds
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or post a copy to Entitlements Team, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY.
Children will also be eligible for funding for 2 year olds if their legal guardian meets one of the following criteria:
- they are a Zambrano Carer with a household income, after tax, of £15,400 or less per year
- they have the right to remain in the UK under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and are subject to no recourse to public funds with a household income, after tax, of £15,400 or less per year
- they are in receipt of support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 and are also subject to no recourse to public funds with a household income, after tax, of £15,400 or less per year
- they are supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
If you meet this criteria, please complete the ‘Funding for 2 year old application form – additional criteria’ in the downloads section and send it in with the appropriate evidence.
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 from.
You will need to contact a provider from the list and check 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.
Important: 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 357039 to see if your chosen provider can be funded. If it cannot be funded (only settings rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted can take children that have been awarded funding for 2 year olds) or you access a provider that is not on the list without contacting us, you will have to pay. 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 email@example.com.