2 year old free childcare (NEF) FAQs

My child isn't two yet, can I apply?

Yes, you can apply for two year old funding up to two months before their second birthday. The funding will start the term after they turn two and will continue for three terms.

I receive one of the criteria, but our household income is over £16,190 a year, am I eligible?

No, your annual income will be higher than the eligibility threshold therefore you are not eligible. The only exceptions are if your child has a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN), has an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or they are a looked after child. These are eligible regardless of income.

I receive the new-style Employment and Support Allowance, am I eligible?

Yes, as long as your total household income is less than £15,400 a year.

I work full or part time, can I apply?

Yes, as long as you receive one of the qualifying benefits and your total household income is less than £16,190 a year or less than £15,400 if you receive Universal Credit.

I am awaiting a decision to receive one of the qualifying benefits, can I still apply?

No, you need to have three months' worth of statements if you're receiving Universal Credit, or need to have received your tax awards notice.

My child is in the process of having an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or Special Education Needs (SEN) statement, can I apply?

Potentially. Contact the business support team at educationandbusiness@herefordshire.gov.uk with your query and we can look into it further for you.

My child is in the process of applying for Disability Living Allowance, can I apply?

Potentially. Contact the business support team at educationandbusiness@herefordshire.gov.uk with your query and we can look into it further for you.

My child has additional needs, but does not receive Disability Living Allowance, am I eligible?

Potentially. Contact the business support team at educationandbusiness@herefordshire.gov.uk with your query and we can look into it further for you.

My child lives with someone else, can I apply?

No, the child must be living at the same address as the person who is applying. You can apply on behalf as someone else, however, the information you give has to be from where the child is living.

I am self-employed, am I eligible?

Yes, if you are able to give evidence of your Tax Credits or Universal Credit and have an annual income less than the eligibility threshold. If you're unable to give a figure for your annual income, we cannot accept your application.

What evidence do I need to send once I've applied?

It depends what criteria you have selected.

If you selected Tax Credits you will have to send in a copy of your tax award notice which shows your annual income.

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, you must send in three months' Universal Credit statements.

If your child is automatically eligible due to either having an EHCP, DLA, or has a statement of SEN, you will need to send in evidence of this.

If you have any queries about what you need to send, you can still apply. When you apply online if you don't get a "congratulations" that you are eligible, we will send you a letter asking for the evidence we need. If you have further questions you can contact the education and business team at educationandbusiness@herefordshire.gov.uk

I do not work but my partner does, can I apply?

Yes, the eligibility is based on the household income, so therefore you will have to apply and select the criteria that best suits you. If it is applicable, when you send your evidence, it should include all incomes from that household.

I receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Maternity Allowance (MA), can I apply?

Yes, you will need to send in the evidence if applicable that you are in receipt of one of the criteria.

I receive Housing Benefit, am I eligible?

No, unless you receive one of the other qualifying benefits and earn below the annual threshold.

Do I need to reapply each term?

No, once you are found to be eligible you will receive nursery education funding for three terms.