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New funded childcare support for two-year-olds starts in April

10 January 2024

Find out if your two-year-old is eligible for the extended 15 hours funded childcare.

Eligible working families along with low-income parents whose children turn two before April 2024 are now able to apply.

Previously, only parents on certain benefits were entitled to funding; this scheme remains in place for those parents. However, the Government is expanding the working parent entitlement so that eligible working parents of 2-year-olds can apply for 15 hours funded childcare per week starting from April 2024.

Applications are open now for parents to receive funding for the April term and will close on 31 March 2024.

Parents who are eligible are advised to apply between mid-January and the end of February so they won’t need to reconfirm eligibility before taking up a place.

Parents who currently use Tax Free Childcare are not able to apply until their reconfirmation window is open.

Who is eligible for 15 hours funding for 2-year-olds?

Each working parent earning under £100k per year and at least £167 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage)

Families receiving some form of additional government support who earn less than £15,400 a year will continue to be eligible for the existing funded childcare support packages including the ‘free for twos’ – for details and to apply visit

Councillor Ray Bisby, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: "It has long been an issue for many working families that they have wanted to return to work but have found it impossible because of the cost of childcare. This new scheme allows even more families with younger children to access funded childcare which means those families will no longer have to choose between a career and a family.

"Thousands of families could be saving money on their childcare costs. But some simply don’t know what support they might be eligible for. The Childcare Choices website brings together all the existing childcare offers in one place, so parents can get the help that fits their family. This could be through Tax-Free Childcare, 30 Hours Childcare, or Universal Credit Childcare. Some families might be eligible to use more than one childcare schemes together and get the most out of it.”

To find out if you are eligible visit the new online childcare support checker, sign up for more details or to make an application please visit