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From 1 September, 2013, 20% of 2-year-olds are eligible for funded early learning places. This will improve the attainment and life chances of some of our most disadvantaged children and support working parents.
Local authorities are responsible for funding these places.
From September 2013, around 130,000 2-year-olds are eligible for 570 hours per year of funded early education.
All 2-year-olds who are looked after by their local authority are eligible.
2-year-olds whose family receives one of the following are also eligible:
We set out the eligibility criteria for the first phase of early learning for 2-year-olds in the local authority October 2012 regulations.
From September 2014, 2-year-olds who meet any 1 of the following criteria will be eligible:
We will confirm the benefits and earnings criteria for families on Universal Credit at a later date.
We will publish estimated numbers of eligible children with the 2014 to 2015 local authority funding allocations in autumn 2013.
Registered providers that follow the early years foundation stage (EYFS) are able to deliver funded places to eligible 2-year-olds. This includes schools and childminders. Childminders must be Ofsted registered. but there is no national requirement for them to be part of a childminding network.
Local authorities should fund early learning places for 2-year-olds in:
Local authorities are responsible for securing alternative provision and should withdraw funding if a provider offering early learning places for 2-year-olds is rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted at a later date.
Further information on local authorities’ roles and responsibilities is available in the statutory guidance on early education and childcare.
Support and advice about delivering early learning for 2-year-olds is available to local authorities on the LGA’s Knowledge Hub.
The government consulted on extending early learning for two-year-olds between July and October 2012 and published its response.
Information for parents can be found in the parenting section.
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Information for local authorities about early education and childcare.