The 2-year-old offer

The 2-year-old offer provides funding for 570 hours per year of early years education to some of the most disadvantaged 2-year-olds in England. 570 hours per year works out as 15 hours per week during term time (38 weeks per year).

What is the 2-year-old offer?

When a child reaches age 2, they may be eligible for 15 hours of funded early education for 38 weeks of the year (term time), if parents already receive some level of government support. Families with a 2-year-old who meet the following criteria are eligible for the free places.

If families claim any one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit - if they and their partner have a combined income from work of £15,400 or less a year, after tax
  • tax credits and they have an income of £16,190 or less a year, before tax
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment given when someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:

  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order.

If you’re a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits

Your 2-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and have either:

  • claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision (known as ‘part 6’)
  • been refused asylum in the UK (known as ‘section 4’)

A 2-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have either:

This video from The London Borough of Bexley shows just how valuable the 2-year-old funding can be to families.

Here is a parent, describing her experience of accessing and using the 2-year-old offer.

Childminder Lisa talks about offering and delivering the 2-year-old funding in her setting.