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Latest News: Extension of government childcare entitlements

As announced in the 2023 Spring Budget, the early education and care entitlements will
be expanded to children aged 9 months over the following stages:

  • from April 2024, working parents of two-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours
    of free early education and care per week (over 38 weeks a year) from the term
    after their child’s birthday;
  • from September 2024, this will be extended to parents of children aged 9 months
    and above; and
  • from September 2025, working parents will be able to access 30 free hours per
    week (over 38 weeks a year) for children from age 9 months up until 1 September following his or her fifth birthday.

A child will be entitled to the additional free hours from the term after both of the following
conditions are satisfied: (1) the child has attained the relevant age; (2) the child’s parent
has a current positive determination of eligibility from HMRC i.e., a valid eligibility code.

For more information click here.

2 year old funding

From Summer 2024 term some working families of 2 year olds may be able to claim up to 15 hours per week early education funding. Families will be able to start applying to HMRC from 2nd January 2024 for their 2 year old funding eligibility code.

We wanted to remind you that there will be 2 different schemes for 2 year old funding. The details for each are below. The existing 2 year old funding criteria remains in place so please direct parents to the correct scheme as outlined below. Please note, some 2 year olds will not be able to access funding via either scheme so it is essential you check a child is eligible before offering a funded place.

Working Families

A new scheme starting in April 2024 is able to offer childcare for 2 year olds where their family meet criteria relating to being in employment. The new scheme is managed by the National Childcare Service.

To apply for this new childcare funding for working families please apply by 31 March 2024 for a code for Summer 2024 term. Parents can apply to the National Childcare Service here. Parents can call them on 0300 123 4097 if you need support submitting your application.

The information below relates to the existing childcare funding where some 2 year olds can access this childcare through Solihull Council instead. If your family do not meet the eligibility criteria detailed below please do not apply to Solihull Council as your application will be refused and you will be asked to apply to the National Childcare Service instead if you meet the working families criteria.

Families will need to renew their code in exactly the same way as parents of 3&4 year olds (every 3 months –  reminders will be sent and FIS will audit codes to inform you to check on the Provider Portal).

Please check codes on the eligibility checker on the Provider Portal as you do for 30 hour codes before offering a funded place.

Please note, parents will need to apply before the deadline for each term i.e. 31st March for Summer term, 31st August for Autumn term and 31st December for Spring term.

Disadavantaged Families

For families who meet the existing benefits related check or additional criteria (Disability Living Allowance, Looked After Children, NRPF, etc) please ask parents to continue to apply to the Family Information Service via Funded Childcare Places for 2 year olds | solihull.gov.uk

Parents will still receive a 2 year old award letter and will be asked to show this to you in order to access a funded place.

For families who meet both criteria we have been advised by the Department for Education that they should apply via the Disadvantaged families route in order secure funding until they are eligible for 3 year old funding (to avoid having to carry out 3 monthly re-checks).

Families that accidently apply to us instead of HMRC will be informed of the working families eligibility and how to apply but your help clarifying this with your parents will ensure parents secure their funding without unnecessary delays.

For further information on 2 year old funding please click here – 2 year old funding (solgrid.org.uk)