Funded early learning and childcare for 2 year olds
Your 2 year old may qualify for up to 600 hours of funded early learning and childcare if you're receiving certain benefits.
Who is eligible
Two year olds will be eligible for up to 600 hours of funded early learning and childcare if their parent or carer receives any of the following benefits:
- Income Support (IS)
- Job Seeker's Allowance (income based)
- Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
- State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and your income's less than £16,105
- Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and your income's less than £6,420
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Universal Credit with a monthly income threshold that does not exceed £610
Or they are:
- looked after
- under a Kinship Care Order
- living with a Parent Appointed Guardian
What is available
Eligible children can receive up to 600 hours (depending on their start date) of funded childcare at a range of approved providers over the school year.
The start dates (and number of funded hours) depend on the child's date of birth:
Date of child's 2nd birthday
Start date for funded hours
1 March to 31 August
Term 1 or 2 (August to December)
1 September to 31 December
Term 3 (January)
1 January to last day of February
Term 4 (April)
You may need additional hours over and above your funded entitlement for work or training purposes. You should discuss your requirements and any charges directly with your chosen childcare provider. Some providers will also charge a registration fee and ask you to pay for snacks.
How to apply
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 01387 722166
We will send you a form to complete and submit along with proof of entitlement.
We will write to you within 21 days of receiving your completed application to let you know whether or not you are eligible. Eligible applicants will receive a list of approved providers to choose from.
You can then visit your chosen provider to enrol with them. You'll need to take:
- your confirmation letter
- your child's birth certificate
- proof of address
Choosing a provider
There's a lot to consider when choosing a provider such as location and facilities. You could visit providers in your area or speak to family and friends to find out more about what's on offer.
The Care Inspectorate inspects all providers to make sure they meet national standards. They publish inspection reports so you can find out what quality of care you can expect:
You can also visit the Scottish Family Information Service website to find out more about services near you.
You could qualify for support with childcare costs in certain circumstances.