Play, learn and grow with a funded place for 2-year-olds

Play, learn and grow with a funded place for 2-year-olds

Play, learn and grow

We all want our children to grow up to be healthy, happy and well-adjusted to the world around them and whatever your situation, balancing family life in this modern world can be tough.

Some 2-year-olds can access 15 hours of funded early education and childcare, depending on their individual family circumstances. Children grow up so fast, but you can give them a great start in life by taking them to a local nursery, pre-school or a childminder for a few hours a week, funded by the government.

Your child can play, learn and grow in a fun, friendly, safe environment. 


Join the thousands of parents in Lancashire who already have a funded place for their 2-year-olds. Our Lancashire nurseries and childminders support children to play, learn and grow helping them to:

  • Make new friends and share
  • Build their confidence
  • Learn and develop

Family are the most important people in a child’s early life, but your local nursery staff or childminder can offer great support and will be happy to assist you with your child’s early learning and development. They are qualified, caring professionals and their tips on the things that you can do at home can help your child come on in leaps and bounds.

Play, learn and grow 



Learn and develop through play. Taking up your funded hours with a nursery or childminder can provide lots of opportunities for your child to be active and develop physically through fun and play both indoors and out.



Singing songs, rhyming, reading and being read to with their friends are just some of the fun activities used by nursery staff and childminders to develop your child’s speaking and listening skills. 



Making friends and playing alongside other children from a mix of different backgrounds really helps to develop your child’s confidence, social skills and their awareness of the world around them. 

Check your eligibility

From April 2024, even more working parents will have access to childcare for their little ones. Stay up to date with the upcoming expansion to childcare support with the Childcare Choices regular newsletter for parents.


To be able to take up a 15 hours' funded place for your two-year-old you must meet the eligibility criteria.

For full details on eligibility read our guide and submit an eligibility check below.

You will need a valid email address in order to use the eligibility checker. If you do not have an email address, you can ring our Family Information Service (FIS) on 0300 123 6712.

Read our guide and check eligibility

When you can apply from

If you're eligible, you can start claiming a funded place from the term after your child's 2nd birthday. The table below shows when you can access a place and when to apply so your child can start as soon as they are eligible.


Childs birthday When you can access a place When you can apply from
1 April – 31 August 1 September (autumn term) 1 April
1 September – 31 December 1 January (spring term) 1 September
1 Jan – 31 March 1 April (summer term) 1 January


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Join the thousands of parents across Lancashire who already use funded childcare for their 2-year-olds.

Hear from our nurseries

You can be confident your child will be looked after in a safe, secure environment as every nursery and childminder looking after children under the age of eight must be registered with Ofsted. Ofsted carries out inspections on a regular basis to see that their standards are being met and children are safe.

In Lancashire almost all the nurseries and childminders are rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. You can see their latest inspection grade and report
on the Ofsted website. You will also be able to arrange visits before you take up a place to make sure that you and your child are happy. 

Hear from some of our Lancashire nurseries

Beacon Day Nursery

The Beacon Day nursery children The Beacon Day Nursery, Nelson has been operating since July 2009 and has 52 full time places during term time and is rated as 'Good' by Ofsted.

All staff are trained in first aid, safeguarding and mental health support and several have further training including additional needs, food safety and hygiene, effective learning and teaching. The nursery has both male and female staff, some of whom are bilingual and they welcome families from different cultures and ethnicities.

Owner Claire Hall said:

"Beacon Day Nursery provides a natural and calming environment that children can freely explore and we regularly have outings within the local community. We find that children that take up the 2-year-old places have increased social skills, improved language, are more prepared for school and settle much better in different environments. They also gain skills such as sharing and playing together, forming friendships and bonds with others, and learning life skills which they may not have the opportunity to develop at home."

Some feedback from parents includes:

“The Beacon Day Nursery has helped my child grow in confidence and learn to share with others”

“The staff were really helpful and worked with me to potty train my child when I was struggling at home”

“It’s important as a parent to be kept in the loop about everything to do with my child’s day. I love receiving regular updates about my son’s day. They have a great outdoors area which he loves, he gets to jump in muddy puddles and explore his surroundings safely! Indoors is just as lovely with a cute little cosy area and lots of hands-on activities.”

'This nursery is amazing, they not only provide the best childcare and really focus on a child’s individual needs, but they support parents and family wellbeing. He has come on leaps and bounds with his learning too, from recognising numbers and letters to his art skills, which again is all down to the effort put in from staff daily.”

The Chatterbox Club

Chatterbox club displayThe Chatterbox Club, Burnley has been operating for almost 19 years with 24 places for 2-year-olds both mornings and afternoons, term time only. Graded outstanding by Ofsted who said, “staff provide an exceptionally caring and stimulating learning environment for children.”

The nursery has an extensive outdoor play area which provides opportunities for children to engage and explore their natural environment, nurturing their health and well-being.

Grace Walker, Manager at the Chatterbox Club said: "We are keen to ensure that all children have the opportunity to shine, achieve and reach their full potential. Bespoke training days ensure we continue to drive forward with staff who are skilled in early years. This supports children all areas of development, through planning targeted play experiences and well-planned activities to supporting all developmental milestones.

"We support children with their emotions by showing and demonstrating empathy. By building strong, warm, supportive relationships with adults, we can provide a secure place to help children achieve in later life.

"A well planned, language- rich environment increases opportunities to use language, to interact, to talk and to take turns. "Our setting celebrates the valuable contribution diversity brings to all our lives and works hard to respect and learn about all cultures.

"Feedback from parents or our nursery children suggests that they feel supported, that their views are valued as we take time to acknowledge that they are their children’s first educator and a love of learning begins at home.

"One of our parents said she chose the Chatterbox Club because of the gentle, child-centred ethos, natural materials and toys, the outdoor area and staff’s caring nature."


Search for a nursery or childminder

Play, learn and grow with a local nursery or childminder

Play, learn and grow with a local nursery or childminder.

Search for a funded place near you for your 2-year-old.

Search for a place

Family Information Service

Family Information Service: Play, learn, grow

Our Family Information Service are here to help you and your family.

From finding the right childcare to advice on funded places, they're ready to answer your questions.

Contact the Family Information Service

Hear from a Lancashire parent

Don't take our word for it. Hear what Lancashire parent, Rachel Culverwell, a mum of two young boys from Burnley, had to say about her child taking a funded place at a local nursery.

"The funding meant we were both able to return to work without added financial pressure and carry on with our lives as working parents.

"I've seen so many benefits from the boys attending nursery and it's important for me to see they are being well looked after in a warm, nurturing environment. They have really developed in confidence and their ability to play well with other children, sharing and taking turns."

Benefits of taking a funded place for children

Your children will learn essential skills at a nursery, pre-school or with their childminder such as:

  • Going to the toilet themselves
  • Eating with a knife and fork
  • Putting on their coat, fastening it, taking it off and hanging it up.

This will encourage them to become more independent and will make the transition to school easier. If your child needs any extra help, they will identify these areas early and assist in getting them the right support.

Benefits of taking a funded place for the family

When your child is using their funded hours, this is also a chance for you to take some time for yourself. You might want to:

  • Start a part-time job
  • Do some training or study
  • Spend the time with your younger children or
  • Relax with family or friends.

Whatever you choose to do, this is your time too.

Rachel's story: part 1


Rachel tells us how her son has benefitted from attending a local nursery in Lancashire.

Rachel's story: part 2


Rachel tells us more about how a funded place for her son has benefitted the whole family.