Time for Twos

Two year old early education

Parents of children aged two in receipt of certain benefits could qualify for up to 15 hours of free childcare education each week at a local nursery, pre-school or a childminder in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

  • Q.  I have a two year old daughter can I get money to help with her nursery funding?
  • A.  You may be eligible for two year old early education if you meet certain criteria (please see detail below)
  • Q.  Can I get any extra help with childcare costs?
  • A.  You could be eligible for tax credits, tax free childcare or universal credits (please see detail below)


Am I eligible?

Eligibility is based on parents who receive one of the following:

  • income Support
  • income-related Employment & Support Allowance
  • income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credits with a combined family income of less than £16,190 before tax
  • working Tax Credit run-on - paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • universal Credit - with a combined family income of less than £15,400 a year after tax
  • national Asylum Seekers Support (NASS)
  • guaranteed element of Pension Tax Credit
  • children of Zambrano Carers *
  • children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private/family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights *
  • children of a subset of failed asylum seekers (supported under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 – ‘the 1999 Act’) *

* A different application process is required, and cannot be completed using the two year old portal.  If eligible, please contact your local children’s centre.

OR a two year old who

  • Has a current Statement of Special Educational Need (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Receives Disability Living Allowance
  • Is looked after by the local authority
  • Has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order
  • Has a family with no recourse to public funds
  • If applying under these five criteria, you will be required to email evidence of eligibility to timefortwos@milton-keynes.gov.uk with the parent’s name, address, child’s name and date of birth


How do I apply?

  • register on the Parent Portal to find out if your child is eligible
  • following registration, login to the Parent Portal and complete an application (this can also be accessed via a smartphone or hand held device)
  • once you apply online, you will be notified of your eligibility immediately.  If you have additional evidence demonstrating you are eligible, please email this to timefortwos@milton-keynes.gov.uk with the parent’s name, address, child’s name and date of birth.
  • if you qualify, please show the confirmation to your chosen childcare provider on your smartphone or print a copy.
  • to find providers in Milton Keynes who accept two year old funding, please visit our childcare search page


When can my child start?

Funding is available from the term after your child’s birthday, see the table below:

1 January – 31 March                     start summer term on or after 1 April

1 April – 31 August                          start autumn term on or after 1 September

1 September – 31 December         start spring term on or after the 1 January


Need further assistance or want further information regarding support with childcare costs?


HM Government offer additional help with childcare costs for parents 

Tax free childcare

  • for working families (with children under 12 or under 17 if disabled), including the self-employed, in the UK
  • for every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year

Tax credits for childcare

  • for working families, in the UK (with children under 16 or under 17 if disabled)
  • 70% of childcare costs, up to a cap
  • if you are unable to make a new claim for Tax Credits, you may be eligible to apply for Universal Credit instead

Universal credit for childcare

  • for working families (with children under 17) claiming Universal Credit, in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • 85% of eligible childcare costs, up to a cap