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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 term time or up to 52 weeks stretched funding.

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.

In July, the government permanently extended eligibility for the free early education entitlement for the most disadvantaged two-year-old children whose parent(s) meet the following conditions:

  1. That they are excluded from claiming public funds as a consequence of their immigration status, or their lack of immigration status.

    and

  2. They are in receipt of support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

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

Help applying for FF2

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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:

Guidance for Autumn 2020

How to submit an FF2 claim
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Please log on to the Synergy FIS Provider Portal to submit claims. Please use the guidance below to navigate your way through the portal:

Parental declaration
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FF2 Payment Schedule
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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 (PDF, 538.9 KB) 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.

Kent Provider Agreement
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The first few years of a child's life are crucially important to their development. Kent County Council are working with providers across the county to make early education for 2, 3 and 4 year olds easily accessible. The Kent Provider Agreement provides a framework which outlines the mutual commitments on delivering the early education free entitlement.

3 and 4 year old funding
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Visit the 3 and 4 year old funding page for full details or email any queries to miearlyyears@kent.gov.uk.

Contact us
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Contact a member of Management Information which manages the FF2 Scheme in Kent by email at miearlyyears@kent.gov.uk.

*The ‘Submission of 2 year old actual claims guidance notes’ document is not accessible because the images are missing alternative text, hard to read text contrast, the reading order has not been defined and there are duplicate slide titles. This means it doesn’t meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines success criteria 1.1.1 non-text content, 1.4.3 contrast, 1.3.2 meaningful sequence and 2.4.2 Page Titled. Our teams are working to understand the best way to meet users’ needs and aiming to fix it by May 2021.