If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) or receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) they are entitled to up to 15 hours a week of free childcare from the age of 2 years old until they start school. If your child doesn't have an EHC Plan or receive DLA, there are other criteria that might mean your 2 year old could receive free childcare.
All 3 and 4 year olds can get up to 15 hours a week of free childcare and some 3 and 4 year olds can get up to 30 hours a week of free childcare.
If a child has Special Educational Needs (SEN), they can still get a maximum of 15 free hours. Where a child with SEN attends a specialist provision (such as a Special School or a Speech and Language Unit), the free hours must be allocated to these providers first, before they are used on other provision. If a child attends a specialist provision for less than 15 hours, children will be able to receive their remaining entitlement at any other funded provider.
Additional early years funding
Disability Access Fund
If your 3 or 4 year old is in receipt of a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) then your childcare provider can access a Disability Access Fund. This is £615 a year that goes to the childcare provider of your choice which supports the provider to meet your child's needs. You will need to say on your Parent Declaration Form that your child receives a DLA and provide a copy of the DLA letter to your provider as proof. You will get a Parent Declaration Form from your childcare provider. If you are using more than one provider, you can decide which provider receives the Fund (it can only go to one provider).
Early Years Pupil Premium
The Early Years Pupil Premium is an extra payment given to your childcare provider for the universal 15 hours only (not for 30 hours or for 2 year olds). This is accessed by providers for families who are in receipt of certain benefits. Please let your provider know what benefits you are receiving via the Parent Declaration Form so they can claim this additional funding which will help them to meet your child's needs.
Early Years Support for Younger Children
The Babcock Prime Early Years team works with early years and childcare settings in Worcestershire to ensure all children access high quality early years education and care to support individual children to achieve their maximum potential in learning and development. Education Services early years (opens in a new window).