Free Early Years Education (EYE) funding for eligible 2 year olds

This is a scheme that allows eligible children to receive free early education from the funding period after their second birthday

This is part of a national offer from the Department for Education (DfE) and has been developed to improve outcomes for identified two year olds who would benefit from access to high quality early years and childcare provision.

Children who are confirmed as eligible will be offered up to 15 free early years education hours per week for 38 weeks, totalling 570 hours for your child’s eligible funding year. These hours begin in the funding period after your child's second birthday. If you choose a childcare provider who is open for more than 38 weeks, you may also be able to “stretch” the free hours across your child’s funding year to cover most school holidays. By stretching the hours your child will have less free hours per week.

Childcare providers that offer 2-year-old places will need to have an Ofsted rating of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ and/or have been assessed by the Services for Young Children (SfYC) as meeting the standards required. Should a parent want their child to take up a place with a childcare provider not on the 2 Year Old Offer list, the provider needs to contact SfYC.


Eligibility criteria for 2-year-old Early Years Education funding

For full details, see the government information webpages about eligibility for two year old children as well as the published guidance on Free early education for 2-year-olds from families with no recourse to public funds.

Information required to apply for 2 year old Early Years Education funding

For UK-citizens you will need to provide details:

Families that meet the economic criteria will need the following detail to complete the online 2-year-old application form on the Education Online Portal:

  • Your name and date of birth
  • Contact details
  • National Insurance number or National Asylum Seekers number
  • Your child’s name and date of birth

Where the family meets the non-economic criteria: Children Looked After by the Local Authority or Child with Special Educational Needs or/and Disability, parents will be prompted to provide supporting evidence to support the application in the Education Online Portal. Services for Young Children will respond within the portal if additional information is required.

For non-UK-citizens:

Families that have no recourse to public funds will need to complete an application form for free early education for 2-year-olds from families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF). Before the application can be approved you will need to email the form and supporting evidence to Services for Young Children.

How applications are processed

For UK-citizens:

The Education Online Portal 2-year-old funding application will provide an immediate outcome via the Eligibility Checking Service for parents/carers meeting the economic criteria. A 2-year-old application reference number and further instructions on what to do next will be given to the parent on the screen.

Where the parent is 'Not found' on the Eligibility Checking Service, the parent will receive an instruction to check the information that has been submitted is correct and resubmit if not. The parent may be asked to contact Services for Young Children to provide documents to show that the economic criteria have been met, for example, the TC602 Tax Credit Award Notice for Working Tax Credit.

For non-economic criteria applications, on receipt of evidence Services for Young Children will be in touch via the Education Online Portal to confirm eligibility or seek further information if required.

For non-UK-citizens:

On receipt of the application form for free early education for 2-year-olds from families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) and supporting evidence Services for Young Children will generate a 2-year-old application reference which can then be shared with the early years provider to secure a funded place.

Make a 2-year-old funding application

For UK-citizens:

If you think your child is eligible for free early years education funding (having checked the criteria in step 1 above), apply using the online checking and application service, by selecting the green button below. If you are unable to make an online application please contact either your chosen provider or Services for Young Children on 01962 847070 (option 1) and an assisted application can be done on your behalf.

For non-UK-citizens:

If you believe you meet the requirements for a non-UK-citizen, please complete the application form for free early education for 2-year-olds from families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) and include supporting evidence Services for Young Children.

If you have any difficulties, please contact Services for Young Children on 01962 847070 (option 1).

Additional costs and services

There is no early years education funding to cover the cost of transport. There may be an opportunity for a childminder to support the family by collecting and dropping off your child at the childcare provision or home, but this is likely to have a cost.

Childcare providers can charge for a meal if your child attends during a mealtime and you have agreed this. Most providers will allow you to send in a packed meal for your child. There could also be some consumable costs (e.g., nappies, sun cream).

If your child is receiving free early years education hours the childcare provider may charge for any additional hours in the setting. Please check the childcare providers Fee Policy for more information.

Further information

If you would like to search for childcare in your area, the Family Information and Services Hub will support you find early years settings.

If you are searching for childcare and services for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) you may prefer to access the Hampshire Local Offer webpages.

Parents should discuss their childcare needs with the early years provider.

Contact us

Family Information Service
Phone 0300 555 1384
Email [email protected]

Can't remember your eligible 2YO code?

General Enquiry form