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 Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The ‘Guarantee’ element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit and have an annual income that does not exceed £16,190

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.

What support will there be for my family?
Family support can be available as part of the offer. You can choose whether or not you want this help. Family support will be offered through your local children’s centre and involves sharing information about other services within the community such as Job Centre Plus and health services that may be of help to you.

How can I get this support?
If you think your family and child might be eligible to receive this offer, please talk to your health visitor, children’s centre or childcare setting. You will be asked to give consent to share information on the Referral Form so that other services you use know that you are accessing a Two Year Old place.