Funding for 2 year olds
Up to 15 hours per week of free early education and childcare is
available to eligible 2 year olds from September 2013 as part of
the Government's strategy to extend the offer of free early
education and childcare.
In order to be eligible families must meet the following
The child must be two years of age (the funding
will start from the term after the childs second birthday if
Parents need to be in receipt of one of the following to meet
the Free School Meals criteria in order to receive two year
- Income support
- Income - based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income - related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act
- The guaranteed element of the State Pension Credit
- Child tax credit, and have an annual income (as assessed by HM
Revenue and Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
- Working Tax Credits (including those in receipt during the four
week period immediately after their employment ceases, or after
they start to work fewer than 16 hours per week) with a household
income of less than £16,190 as assessed by HMRC.
- Children who are currently looked after by the local authority
- Children who have left care through a special guardianship or
an adoption or residence order
- Children with a current statement of education needs or an
education, health and care plan.
- Families in receipt of the Disability Living Allowance
- Children who are in a family who are currently working with
Making an application
To apply please visit your local Children's
Centre and ask a family worker to complete the forms with you
or alternatively download them here.
Completed application forms should be
Bedford Borough Council
Approval of Application
Once the application forms are received by
Bedford Borough Council the application will either be approved or
rejected. We aim to inform the parent or referring professional
within one week after receiving the application form. As
places are limited applications will be placed on a waiting list if
all the funding has been allocated. You may find this
the application process useful.
Finding a childcare setting
A parent may be aware of a childcare setting
that they would like to use and can specify this on the application
form. Otherwise our Outreach Officer will support the parent
to find a suitable childcare setting for their child.
Only childcare settings that meet the
following criteria can be used:
- Have a good
or outstanding Ofsted inspection outcome or be actively working
towards a good rating
evaluate the quality of their provision through an improvement
Bedford Borough Council will organise the
funding direct with the chosen childcare setting.
The Outreach Officer will provide, where
necessary, ongoing support for parents which may include greeting
the parent at the childcare setting on their first day or calling
the parent to see how they are getting on.
Please refer to our leaflet Free Early
Education and Childcare for 2 year olds for parents for
To find out more information please contact the Family
Information Service on 0800 023 2057 or email