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Free Early Education places for 2 year olds

Free early education places for 2 year olds is known in Kent as the Free for 2 or 'FF2' scheme.

We have a duty to provide eligible 2 year olds up to 570 hours of free early education a year over 38 weeks of the year.

A child is eligible if:

  • they come within the criteria used to determine eligibility for Free School Meals
  • their families receive Working Tax Credits and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190 per year
  • their families receive Universal Credit and have an annual net income of no more than £15,400
  • they have a current statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and care plan
  • they are entitled to Disability Living Allowance
  • they are looked after by a local authority
  • they are no longer looked after by the local authority as a result of an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order which specifies with whom the child lives.

Eligible children can start claiming after they turn two, depending on when their birthday is.

Child's 2nd birthday When they can claim from
1 January to 31 March the beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 August the beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 December the beginning of term on or after 1 January

Kent County Council's website has more information on how to apply for free early education for 2 year olds.

FF2 Scheme Guidance
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Information for Parents and Carers, Early Years Providers, Eligible Childminders and Children's Centres can be found by following the links below:

FF2 Stretched Funding
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Stretched funding is now available whereby parents can take fewer hours a week over a longer period of time.

How to submit an FF2 claim
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Important Information:

Synergy FIS Provider Portal is now replacing all new starter, continuing and adjustment claim forms.

Please log in via the link above and use the FIS Provider guidance notes (PDF, 1.1 MB) to navigate your way through the portal.

Parental declaration
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To comply with GDPR guidelines from 25 May 2018 we have revised the Parental Declaration form. For any new children accessing funding from 25 May 2018 the parent will need to complete the GDPR parental declaration form below.

FF2 Payment Schedule
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Provider payment information for 2017/18; please note this is a revised schedule detailing the dates when claim forms should be received and when payments are made.

FF2 posters
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You can download a poster below:

Statutory Guidance
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The Department for Education's Early Education document contains statutory guidance from the Department for Education for English local authorities on their duties under sections 6, 7, 7A, 9A, 12 and 13 of the Childcare Act 2006. Local authorities must have regard to this guidance when seeking to discharge those duties.

The Department for Education (DfE) provides more useful information and guidance for early education providers.

3 and 4 year old funding
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Visit Management Information for full details or email any queries to eyfe@kent.gov.uk.

Contact us
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Contact a member of the Early Years and Childcare Service which manages the FF2 Scheme in Kent by email at eyfreefor2@kent.gov.uk.

Kent Improvement Service
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To support settings to provide a quality experience for two year olds, Kent's Improvement Service, has developed a range of training packages called Threads of Success for all levels of practitioners, so that they can provide a rich and inspiring learning environment focused on the specific developmental needs of our two year olds.

To find out further information or to arrange support please e-mail EYCImprovementServices@kent.gov.uk