Page last updated 17 December 2013
Two children  

Funded Early Learning for 2 Year Olds

If you are a Childcare Provider or Professional wishing to make a 2 Year Funding Referral, please visit the Delivering the 2 Year old programme page.

Discretionary places update

The Discretionary Places Referral Form has been updated and can be found below.

Please note: We no longer accept faxed copies of the Discretionary Places Referral Form.

For more information regarding the Discretionary places  please see the documents below:

All Discretionary Places that are approved are issued an INT Reference Number. This reference number needs to passed on to the chosen childcare provider in order to make a claim.

The INT Reference Numbers do not need to be checked for eligibility by the childcare provider and the INT Reference Numbers do not expire after 6 weeks like the OEC Reference Numbers.

If you feel you could be eligible for a Funded Early Learning for 2 year olds Discretionary Place, please speak with the professional who is working with your family and they can complete a referral form with you if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Northamptonshire County Council will be introducing the offer of Funded Early Learning places from April 2013 to all eligible families with a 2 year old who live in Northamptonshire.

Is my 2 year old eligible for a funded place?

Parents/carers can now check their eligibility by using our Online Eligibility Checker (OEC).

The OEC is simple to use and takes you through a step-by-step process to check. To be eligible a parent/carer must have an income below £16,190 and be claiming the one of the following state benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seekers’ Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guaranteed Element of the State Pension Credit
  • Or Child Tax Credit, provided you have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs

You cannot be in receipt of Working Tax Credit (except during the four-week period immediately after the employment ceases, or after you start to work fewer than 16 hours per week.

When and where can I start my place?

If the OEC confirms eligibility, you will receive the offer of a funded place for your 2 year old. You can use any Good or Outstanding OFSTED registered Childcare Provider or  Childminder.

To find a list of Childcare Providers or Childminders please see our Families Information Service Childcare Directory.

This offer remains active for 6 weeks, you will need to find a place before the Reference Number expires. If the Reference Number expires, you will need to use the Online Eligibility Checker again to obtain a valid Reference Number.

The Funded Early Learning for 2 year olds entitles eligible children to 570 hours a year of Funded Early Learning. The 570 hours will be split by the Authority into three funding blocks. The maximum amount of hours that can be taken in a week is 15 hours.

The Funded Early Learning place can start from the funding block following your child's 2nd Birthday.

The funding blocks are:

  • 1st January to 31st March (Spring Block)
  • 1st April to 31st August (Summer Block)
  • 1st September to 31st December (Autumn Block)

To find out when your child would be able to start a 2 Year Funded Place if eligible, use the start calculator document below:

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