2-Year Funding Explained

If you have a 2-year-old, there may be funding available to help with childcare costs. Please read our Q&A to find out more details.

Q. Who can apply?

A. A parent or carer can apply if they receive at least one of the following:

  • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income support
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credits and an income of less than £16,190
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of the State Pension Credit
  • Children looked after by the local authority may also be eligible

For those who live in Bournemouth the criteria is even broader. If you live in Bournemouth and you are eligible for any of the following you might be eligible for up to 15 hours of funding:

  • Free school meals;
  • Working Tax credits and have annual gross earnings of no more than £16,190 per year;
  • Current statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care plan;
  • Disability Living Allowance;
  • Looked after by the LA;
  • Have left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order.

Q. How much childcare is available?

A. If eligible, your child can receive up to 15 hours of childcare per week, for up to 38 weeks of the year. Free childcare can be used flexibly at a variety of early education providers. Tops Day Nurseries welcomes the 2 year funding scheme, and offers flexible hours, so a full morning or afternoon does not need to be booked- just the hours the parents need.

Q. When could my child start?

A. If your child is eligible for 2-year funding they can start their childcare the term after their 2nd birthday.

Birthday Start date (following their 2nd birthday)
1st January to 31st March 1st April
1st April to 31st August 1st September
1st September to 31st December 1st January


Q. How do you apply?

A. Please ask any of our Tops Day Nurseries and they can help you complete your application.  Once the council has received your application and if you are eligible, they will send you a letter to let you know you are entitled to the 2-year funding. Simply show this letter to Tops Day Nurseries and register your child free of charge.

If you are looking for quality, flexible childcare for your 2-year-old, find your closest Tops Day Nursery by clicking here and arrange a visit. We would love to show you around!

Posted in: 2 year olds