Information for families in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Two year old funding

When and where can my child claim funded hours?

Eligible children can access 15 hours a week (increasing to up to 30 hours per week by September 2025 for working families) of Early Education, for 38 weeks of the year from the funding period following their second birthday. You may be able to stretch these hours by taking less hours over more weeks, for example 11 hours per week over 51 weeks of the year.

You can access a place at a day nursery, pre-school, independent nursery school, school nursery or childminder that is approved to provide early education funding for 2-year-olds. Check the full list of registered providers.

If you can't use all your weekly hours with one provider, you can split your entitlement with a second provider.

Many childcare providers will have specific times of day where they accept government funded hours, so check in advance. Funded hours can be used between 6am and 8pm (subject to availability at your chosen provider - the provider does not have to be open during these hours).

If your child attends a childcare provider outside of your local authority area the funding will be paid by the local authority where your child attends.

What additional charges might I be asked to pay?

If your child attends more than the allocated funded hours you will be charged for these at the providers rate.

Additional services such as meals, snacks and drinks, trips, and extra activities such as music and dance are not covered by early education funding, and the childcare provider may ask you to pay for these.

At the beginning of each new term, the childcare provider should tell you about any charges that may be incurred, enabling you to make an informed choice as to whether the childcare provider is right for you and your child.

What if I'm claiming the childcare element of Working Tax Credits?

Early education funding does not affect benefits received. However, the funding does mean that your childcare costs will be lower, so if you're claiming the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, you should only claim for the childcare fees you're paying to prevent an overpayment.

Find out more on the government website or call 0345 3003900

Finding a childcare provider

You can search for registered childcare in the childcare section of this directory.

Alternatively, if you would like help in find childcare contact us on 01202 093131 or by email at

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