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Two year old offer

You could claim up to 15 hours of free, flexible early education and childcare if, from September 2014, your family receives one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support.
  • Income based Job Seekers' Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigrations and Asylum Act 1999
  • The Guaranteed element of state Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit / Child Tax Credit with an annual income of no more than £16,190

Children are also entitled to a place if:

  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they have a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education health and care plan
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

Check if you are eligible for the two year old offer funding with our Citizen Portal.

If you experience any issues with North Tyneside’s Citizen Portal please contact 0345 2000 109 for assistance.

Find childcare in your area on our two year old delivery map.

Families can find out more about support with childcare costs at the Government’s Childcare Choices website.

Questions to ask a childcare provider

We suggest you ask any or all of the these questions when you visit childcare providers:

  • how long have you been working with children?
  • have you undertaken any recent training for your job? Any relevant qualifications?
  • why do you enjoy being with children?
  • can I look around the building to see the rooms and outside play space?  If there is no outside play space, how will you make sure my child gets the chance to play outside?
  • where will my child rest?
  • what kind of food and drink will you provide?
  • what’s the daily routine? What will my child be doing during the day?
  • how do you encourage good behaviour?
  • will my child be with a regular group of children? If so, how old are they and how will their timetable fit in with my child?
  • will you keep a record/diary about my child’s progress?
  • what national or local networks or groups are you involved in e.g. National Childminding Association or North Tyneside Quality Improvement Network Meetings?

You should write up an agreed contract including hours, pay, sickness and holiday pay (including bank holidays) before you start with your chosen provider.

You should also ask to see the provider’s:

  • registration certificate
  • certificate of insurance
  • current first aid certificate
  • a copy of their latest inspection report - these can also be found on Ofsted’s website using the childminders URN (unique reference number) - if a provider has recently been inspected there may be a delay in the latest report showing on the website


Nurseries aim to make sure that your child can develop their early learning at a pace that's right for them.

Most nurseries offer 15 hours a week of free learning and care for all three and four year olds.

For more information call 0345 2000 109.


Childminders look after children on domestic premises, usually in their own home. They are registered and inspected by Ofsted and will usually be on both the Early Years Register and the Ofsted Childcare Register.


  • can often be flexible about the hours that they work
  • should provide your child with lots of care, fun and learning
  • can make the most of local facilities and amenities
  • are often willing to drop off and collect children from certain schools and/or playgroups

Every childminder is different so look for someone who will suit your child and your family.

For more information call 0345 2000 109.

Out of school schemes

Out of school schemes include:

  • breakfast clubs
  • afterschool clubs
  • holiday play schemes (sometimes knows as kids clubs)


  • offer care for school aged children under 8 years of age for more than two hours per day
  • are registered and inspected by Ofsted
  • are on the Ofsted Childcare Register

Your child doesn't have to attend the school offering after school or holiday care; there may be a walking bus operating to and from the provision.

Pre-school playgroups


  • operating for more than two hours a day are registered and inspected by Ofsted, to make sure they are safe and suitable
  • will be on the Ofsted early years register
  • are open during term time
  • offer places to children between two and a half and five years of age (some groups may accept children from the age of two years)

For more information call 0345 2000 109.

30 hours entitlement

Eligible working families with children aged 3 to 4 years are entitled to 30 hours of free childcare a week (38 weeks of the year i.e. school term time). This is a total of 1,140 free hours a year.

Find childcare in your area on our 30 hour providers map.

Parents of 3 and 4 year olds will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 30 hours free childcare:

  • they earn or expect to earn the equivalent of 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming 3 months:
    • this equates to £120 a week (or c.£6,000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week (or c.£5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old
    • this applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract
  • where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave
  • where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work
  • where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (i.e. they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months
  • if a non-EEA national, the parent must have recourse to public funds

A parent will not meet the criteria when:

  • either parent has an income of more than £100,000
  • either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control (and has no recourse to public funds)

Families can apply through the Government’s Childcare Choices website.

Eligible children can receive the 30 hours from the start of the term following their third birthday. Families are no longer entitled to the 30 hours when they start full-time education (i.e. reception year at school).  Parents must register for the 30 hour offer on the Childcare Choices website the term before they want to start taking their 30 hour entitlement.

See the 30 Hours - Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Families can register for the 30 hour entitlement and find out more about support with childcare costs at the Government’s Childcare Choices website.

Related documents

Flexible free entitlement

All three and four year olds are entitled to 15 hours of early education per week over a minimum of 38 weeks.

A child may access their free place through:

  • nursery schools or nursery classes attached to schools
  • playgroups
  • child care day nurseries
  • private/independent schools
  • childminders

Call 0345 2000 109 for a list of local childcare providers.

Three and four year olds born between dates shown (inclusive) will be eligible for a free place for up to three terms per annum from:

1st April to 31st August.
The start of the autumn term following their 3rd birthday. That is September.

1st September to 31st December.
The start of the spring term following their 3rd birthday. That is January.

1st January to 31st March.
The start of the summer term following their 3rd birthday. That is April. (Please note that this is the case even if the Easter break falls after 1st April).

Families can find out more about support with childcare costs at the Government’s Childcare Choices website.

Related documents

Childcare sufficiency

This report sets out how we are doing in providing childcare support.

Related documents

Tax-free childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a new Government scheme to help working families with their childcare costs.

Parents will be able to open online childcare accounts to pay their registered childcare providers directly. For every £8 parents pay in to these accounts, the Government will add £2, and the total amount in the account can only be spent on childcare. Parents can receive up to £2,000 in Government support per child, per year, or £4,000 for disabled children.

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