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Funded childcare for eligible 2-year-olds

From April 2024, there will be 2 different streams of funding available to help parents of 2-year-olds with their childcare costs.

If eligible, you can only access one of the schemes, however you can use either alongside the Tax-Free Childcare and Universal Credit for childcare.

15 hours of funded childcare for families on a low income or on certain benefits

Your 2-year-old is eligible if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • Child Tax Credits and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)


  • the child gets Disability Living Allowance
  • the child is looked after by a local authority
  • the child has left care under an adoption order, special guardianship order or a child arrangements order
  • the child has a statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health, and care plan (EHCP)
  • if your immigration status says you have 'no recourse to public funds', and your household income is below a threshold dependent on the number of children in your household
Find out more about childcare funding for low-income families

15 hours of funded childcare for working parents

Your 2-year-old is eligible if:

  • you, and any partner, must each expect to earn at least £167 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage), and less than £100,000 a year
  • both parents are employed but one (or both parents) is temporarily away from the workplace on:
    • parental leave
    • maternity, or paternity leave
    • adoption leave
    • statutory sick pay
  • one parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring or is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits
Find out more about childcare funding for working families