Apply for funded childcare for 2-year-olds

Funded childcare is available for eligible 2-year-olds within Buckinghamshire. You may be able to receive up to 15 hours a week during the school term.

If your child will be going to a nursery, preschool, or childminder outside of Buckinghamshire, you will need to contact that local council for funding. 



Your 2-year-old can get funded early education and childcare if you plan to send your child to a nursery, preschool, or childminder in Buckinghamshire, and you get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit, and your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, not including benefit payments
  • tax credits, and your household income is £16,190 a year or less before tax
  • 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)

2-year-olds can also get free childcare if they:

If you’re a non-EEA citizen who cannot claim benefits your 2-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and have either:

  • claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision (known as ‘part 6’)
  • been refused asylum in the UK (known as ‘section 4’)

A 2-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have either:

You may have to pay for extra costs like meals, nappies or trips.


When to apply

The date you can start a funded place depends on your child's birthday. If your child is eligible, they can take up a place. This will be at the start of the term following their second birthday.

Child's birthday

When you can start early education funding

1 January to 31 March

The beginning of Summer term on or after 1 April

1 April to 31 August

The beginning of Autumn term on or after 1 September

1 September to 31 December

The beginning of Spring term on or after 1 January

Start application


Lost reference code

If you have already applied but have lost your 6 digit reference code, please email


Find childcare providers

If you are eligible, you will be sent a confirmation letter. You can take this to any of the approved childcare providers.


Help to find a childcare place

The Early Years Brokerage Service provides help to families who are unable to find a 2-year-old funded place. We will discuss your needs and provide advice and information on the availability of places in your area.

Apply for help from the Brokerage Service.


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