Online applications for two year old funding
Early education and childcare providers need to be aware of changes to the application process for 2 year old funding.
The online application system means that parents can apply for the funding through our website www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/twoyearoldfunding. If parents cannot access the online application system, children’s centres can make applications on parents’ behalf and the Family Information Service can complete an application over the telephone.
For those applying under the economic criteria, the system will give parents an immediate response. Applications under the non-economic criteria will come into the funding team who will verify eligibility.
If a family is eligible, the family will receive a 2 year old funding voucher. The voucher will contain a 15 digit reference number which you must use to confirm eligibility with the funding team. Here's an example of what it will look like:
Parents can print the voucher and give it to the childcare provider. Alternatively, parents can access the checker on their mobile phone so can show you the confirmation message that is sent to their account. Or they can simply write down the reference number and give it to you when arranging the early education place.
It is very important that you call the two year old funding team prior to the child starting to confirm the families’ eligibility by quoting the reference number contained in the 2 year old funding voucher.
If you do not verify the child’s eligibility with the team, you may start children who are not eligible and will not receive funding from the local authority for these children. Funding cannot be back dated to a previous term and we cannot commence funding for new children, until the following term, after claimsheets have been returned.
The online system replaces the need for paper applications to be sent to the two year old funding team. You will be required to complete Parental Declarations on a termly basis for those attending in the Autumn term – as you do for three and four year olds. These forms will be sent out with your Autumn term claim packs and should be kept for seven years for auditing purposes.
Summary of changes
- The reference numbers confirming eligibility are longer
- Reference numbers will not expire
- Children’s centres and the Family Information Service can assist parent’s in making applications
- The system is paperless so you will not need to submit application forms for families who have applied online (termly claimsheets will still need to be returned)
- You will be required to complete Parental Declarations
Please be aware that there will be an overlap of systems as some parents have reference numbers that do not expire until 17th July. Should a parent come forward with a 7 digit reference number beginning with 13 or 14, please continue the old paper based application system. After the 17th July all applications for the funding should go through the online route