2 year old funded childcare - Benefits related/Child Specific criteria

New Childcare Funding Scheme for Working Families

A new scheme starting in April 2024 is able to offer childcare for 2 year olds where their family meet criteria relating to being in employment. The new scheme is managed by the National Childcare Service.

  • To apply for this new childcare funding for working families please apply by 31 August 2024 for your code for Autumn 2024 term. You can apply to the National Childcare Service here. You can call them on 0300 123 4097 if you need support submitting your application. 
  • The information below relates to the existing childcare funding where some 2 year olds can access this childcare through Solihull Council instead. If your family do not meet the eligibility criteria detailed below please do not apply to Solihull Council as your application will be refused and you will be asked to apply to the National Childcare Service instead if you meet the working families criteria.

2 year olds receiving additional government support

You will be eligible for a funded childcare place of up to 15 hours per week (up to a maximum number of hours per term) if your family receive at least one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act and sections 95 or 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit with a gross annual income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on
  • Universal Credit with net earnings below £15,400

You are not eligible if you claim Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits at the same time.

How do I know if I am eligible for this scheme?

To check your eligibility you need to apply directly to Solihull Council via our Parent Portal Online Application link. There is no termly cut-off date for this scheme.

Online application

Child Specific Criteria

If you care for a 2 year old child who meets any of the criteria below they will also be eligible for a funded childcare place if:

  • child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • child has a current Statement of Special Educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • child is Looked After by the Local Authority
  • child has left Local Authority Care through Special Guardianship Order, Adoption or Child Arrangement Order

If you are applying under the DLA criteria please send DLA evidence for your child to 2yearoldfunding@solihull.gov.uk

If you are applying via any of the other criteria above please contact the Family Information Service via 0800 389 8667 or familyinfo@solihull.gov.uk

No Recourse to Public Funds

Your child may also be eligible for 2 year old funding if you meet the following criteria;

  • your immigration status have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF), you live in England and have an annual net earned income of less than:
  • £26,500 for families outside of London with one child
  • £30,600 for families outside of London with two or more children
  • you have no more than £16,000 in savings or investments

To make an application based upon the No Recourse to Public Funds criteria please complete the self-declaration form and email it to 2yearoldfunding@solihull.gov.uk or if you have any further queries please call the Family Information Service directly on 0800 389 8667.

Find a childcare provider

You can find childcare providers who offer 2 year old funding.

Search for a childcare provider

Frequently asked questions

You will need to apply to the Local Authority for that area e.g. Birmingham Council if the nursery is in Birmingham.






As you want your child to attend a childcare setting in Solihull, you should apply to Solihull Council.

The earliest we can check eligibility for 2 year old funding is during the term that your child turns 2. If your child is approved for a place they can start the following term. Please see dates below:

A child who is 2 years old between: Can access their place from the following:
1 April and 31 August September term
1 September and 31 December January term
1 January and 31 March April term


Please apply in plenty of time before your child is going to access 2 year old funding. Please note we are unable to backdate 2 year old funding so when you apply and are successful we will award the funding from the beginning of the week you apply.

Your child’s funded hours are free of charge. The funding does not cover the cost of meals, consumables or additional services.

  • Childcare providers can charge for meals and snacks and so, if you choose to take these up, you would be expected to pay for them. Childcare providers should provide you with alternatives such as supplying your child’s meals and snacks yourself.
  • Childcare providers can charge for consumables (such as sun cream, nappies, trips, specialist tuition or additional services). Childcare providers should provide you with an alternative such as supplying your own items, your child not accessing the specialist tuition/trips or them waiving/reducing fees.
  • Childcare providers can charge for extra hours so, if you choose to take these up, you would be expected to pay for them. If you choose not to access extra hours this should not stop you from accessing your child’s funded place.

You should discuss any charges with the childcare provider you wish to use before making a booking. This will allow you to understand any charges and ask the childcare provider what alternative options they can offer. If you choose to pay for any meals, consumables or additional services, these should be clearly listed on your invoice so you know what you are paying for. 

If you have any questions please discuss them directly with your chosen childcare provider who will be able to explain their process to you.

You can take up your free place at an approved Solihull Day Nursery, Pre-school or Childminder. A list of approved childcare settings will be sent to you if your application is successful.

For more information on how to choose an appropriate setting for your child please view our childcare choices booklet.

You can choose to access fewer hours if you would like to, but the number of hours you choose must remain the same for that whole term. Your childcare setting may be able to stretch your hours so that your child attends for fewer hours per week but for more weeks out of term time. Please speak to your childcare setting directly about stretching your hours.

When you make a claim online you will only be asked to provide proof of benefits if you receive Disability Living Allowance for your child. Your entitlement will be checked against our Eligibility Checking Service which is provided by the Department for Education but this does not check if you are receiving DLA.

When your application has been processed you will be sent an email to advise you of the outcome. If you do not receive an email within 5 working days, please contact Solihull Family Information Service. Please remember to check your junk / spam email folder just in case the email has been redirected incorrectly.

If you are unsuccessful but feel you do meet the benefits criteria you can contact the Family Information Service who can help you with any queries you may have regarding your claim.

For most people there will be no affect on any other benefits. Occasionally receiving a funded 2 year old childcare place can affect other benefits you receive as the free place is classed as a benefit. You will need to notify tax credits and housing benefit of any changes to your benefits and they will then advise you of any changes should you take up the funded place.