Apply for 2yr fund entitlement

From the term after your child turns two, you might be able to claim 15 hours a week funded childcare (up to a maximum of 570 hours per year). This is called Funded Early Education and it is paid for by the Government.

Attending early education at a nursery, playgroup or childminder, can help your child:

  • Make new friends and share
  • Build their confidence
  • Learn and develop

How to claim the funded place

Before you can claim a funded place you will need to submit an application for us to check if you are eligible. We will send you an email or letter to tell you if you are eligible for a funded place or not.

If you are eligible you can then find a childcare provider and book the funded place with them. You will need to show your chosen childcare provider the email or letter that we send you so that they know you are eligible for a funded place. You will not be able to take up a funded place until you have done this.

When to submit your application

Your child is eligible from the term following their 2nd birthday. The table below shows when you can access a place and when to apply so your child can start as soon as he or she is eligible.

Childs birthday When you can access a place When you can apply from
1 April – 31 August 1 September (autumn term) 1 April
1 September – 31 December 1 January (spring term) 1 September
1 Jan – 31 March 1 April (summer term) 1 January

If you would like any further information contact our Family Information Service.

Apply for an eligibility check

If you are getting certain benefits (detailed below) you can submit your application online by clicking on the Online Eligibility Checker below. You will need to create an account first, then you need to log back in to your account to complete your application. Once your account has been created you can log in at any time and you do not need to create a new account if you have any other children that become age eligible, but, you must check each child in case your circumstances have changed.

Online eligibility checker

Please see when to submit your application for more information.

Apply using the link above if you get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit – if you and your partner are on a low income from work (this usually means a combined income of less than £15,400 a year after tax)
  • tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

If you do not have access to the internet you can also call our Family Information Service on 0300 123 6712

Other ways children might be eligible

If you are not getting one of the benefits listed above you might still be able to claim a funded childcare place. The other ways children could be eligible are:

  • Children who are looked after by the council
  • Children who have left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order, or adoption order
  • Children who get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) 
  • Children who have a current education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • Children in need
  • Children with a child protection plan
  • Children of Gypsy Roma Traveller Heritage residing in Lancashire
  • Children of serving armed forces personnel residing in Lancashire
  • Children who meet the criteria for portage from Lancashire County Council (please note referrals relating to this criteria can only be submitted by the portage team)

If your child meets any of the other criteria listed above, please contact your social worker, health visitor, Children and Family Wellbeing Service or Portage worker and they will be able to complete a referral on your behalf. Once we get the referral we will send you an email or letter to confirm your child can claim a funded childcare place.

Alternatively, if your child has left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order, adoption order or is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance you can send a copy of the order or DLA award letter by post to;

FEE Team
Lancashire County Council
Room C27
County Hall

or by email to;

Please do not send originals as we are unable to return them to you.