Funded Early Education for Two Year Olds

Would you like help with childcare? Do you want to give your child the chance to experience new activities and make new friends before starting school?  

Forty per cent of two-year-olds are eligible. Take a look here to find out and apply if your child qualifies.

Eligible children are entitled to 570 hours annually which equates to 3 hours per day - term time (although this can be stretched over more weeks if agreed with the family and childcare provider).


In order to apply, your family MUST be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support

  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance

  • An income-related employment and support allowance

  • The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit and/or Working Tax Credit, provided the annual gross income is no more than £ 16,190 as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

If you are in receipt of the following criteria below, please provide supporting evidence:

  • Universal credit - with an annual net earnings threshold of £ 15,400 (based on calculating earnings on a monthly basis)

  • If the child is looked after by the Local Authority

  • If the child has a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan

  • If the child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance

  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • If the child has left care through special guardianship or through an adoption or residence order

Apply online for funded early education for two year olds.

You will be asked to register on Cumbria County Council's Citizen Portal, once you have registered you will then be able to choose to apply for a Funded Early Education place for two year olds.

You can use any of the following as long as they are Ofsted registered and are included on the local authority list to provide the entitlement.

  • Day nurseries

  • Pre schools

  • Nursery schools

  • Some childminders

Below is a list of childcare providers offering the free childcare for 2 year old places:

If your child's second birthday falls between:Your child will become eligible from:
1 January and 31 MarchThe start of the Summer Term (April)
1 April and 31 AugustThe start of the Autumn Term (September)
1 September and 31 DecemberThe start of the Spring Term (January)

High quality childcare can help your child:

  • Experience new and exciting activities

  • Make new friends

  • Support your child's learning for the future

  • Build their confidence and social skills

  • Improve their speech and language

It can also help you:

  • Save on childcare costs

  • Time to explore work/training opportunities

  • Take on more paid work

  • Support your child to play and learn

  • To have more time to yourself