2 Year Old Early Education

Helping you to support your child’s development

What is the Two Year Old Early Education Place?

Two year olds are entitled to free early education if they meet certain eligibility criteria (see eligibility criteria) it is not an entitlement for all children as the three and four year old is. The Local Authority is making available free early education places offering 570 hours a year over no fewer than 38 weeks of the year for children in the Bradford District

What is free early years education for eligible two year olds?

Early year’s education takes place in pre-schools, day nurseries and with childminders. If you are eligible to receive this offer you will be able to choose from a list of groups and childminders who have been approved by Bradford Metropolitan District Council as providers. If eligible, your child will be offered a place for up to 15 hours per week (a total of 570 hours per year) which may be “stretched”, i.e. he/she can attend during school holidays. Your child will be able to attend from the term after he/she is two, up until the end of the term that he/she reaches three. At this point, your child will be part of the three and four year old early years education offer.

What are the eligibility criteria for families?

To qualify for a place you must evidence that you are in receipt of one or more of the following

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit – if you and your partner have a combined income from work of £15,400 or less a year, after tax
  • tax credits and you 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 you get when you stop 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

From September 2019.

The new groups of children to be entitled to an early education place are:

  1. Children of Zambrano Carers;
  2. Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private/family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

3.    Children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 – ‘the 1999 Act’).

How is Early Education paid for?

Early Education is free for 15 hours per week. Money is paid to the provider to enable them to offer the free entitlement. The fund is not paid directly to parents.

Can I take extra hours?

You will need to speak to the early year’s provision to find out if any extra hours are available. If you would like your child to stay for more than the maximum of 570 hours over a year you will have to pay the extra fees. If you work, you may be eligible to claim the ‘childcare’ element of Working Tax Credit, or your employer may provide a Childcare Voucher scheme to help you with the cost of your childcare fees.

How will my child benefit?

Children like to explore the world around them, play with other children and have fun. Good early year’s education from a young age can help to boost child development and that is why we are offering families a chance to get a head start for their children.

Will I have to take all the hours available?

No, you can choose the number and pattern of hours you wish your child to attend. You will need to discuss with the provider the hours you wish to attend and see if these can be accommodated. However the sessions must be:

  • No session longer than 10 hours
  • No session shorter than 2.5 hours
  • Not before 7.00 am or after 7.00 pm.

As minimum parents should be able to access their child’s free early education place in the following patterns:

  • 3 hours a day over 5 days of the week
  • 5 hours a day over 3 days of the week.

Providers may not be able to be open for 15 hours a week or the full 38 weeks a year so may not be able to offer the full free entitlement (for example, independent schools which are usually only open 34 weeks of the year, or a pre school open only 12½ hours a week due to shared premises). In such cases funding will only be made available for the hours delivered.

There is no expectation that all providers should offer all the different patterns of flexibility, but the Local Authority will assess parental need and work with providers to secure an offer that closely matches parental demand wherever possible.

Would I have to stay with my child?

To begin with, you may wish to stay with your child for part of the first few sessions to help your child settle into the early year’s provision. All the groups and childminders have been carefully chosen, based on their experience and good practice, so that you can feel confident that you are leaving your child in a safe and nurturing environment.