Not all 2 year olds are eligible for funding for an early learning and childcare place. Two year olds can start receiving funding early under a few different circumstances. This includes if they’re under the care of the local council, a family member or other person appointed by the court or if their household is already receiving certain benefits.  If you are a parent who has experienced care, you are also entitled to a place for a two year old.

You can apply for an ELC place for your two year old if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Income support (IS)
  • Job Seeker’s Allowance (income-based)
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC), but not Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £17,005*
  • Both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and your income is under £7,920*
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit (this can be claimed if income is less than £660 per month). Annually equivalent to £7,920*

Children who are 2 years old are eligible to take up their funded place from around the term after their second birthday or from the term after their parents start receive the qualifying benefit. Not all of our local authority nurseries provide a service for two year olds.  All of our funded private provider nurseries in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council including Childminders offer early learning and childcare for eligible two year olds.

Care experienced parents and children

Two year olds are also eligible for funded hours from their second birthday if they are, or have been at any point since their second birthday;

  • looked after
  • under a kinship care order
  • under a guardianship order

From August 2021care experienced parents are now eligible to apply for funded early learning and childcare for their 2 year old child from their second birthday. Types of care include:

  • Foster Care
  • Kinship Care
  • Residential Care
  • care arranged to comply with a compulsory supervision order (looked after at home/away from home)

Services for two year olds are available at:

How to Apply

There is a range of models available to ensure that all children can access their entitlement to

1140 hours of early learning and childcare.  Parents and carers can apply for the ELC which suits their family best. We try to make sure that everyone gets what they choose. However, there is no guarantee of this. Funding Follows the Child means that you can choose a nursery for your child; a place will be allocated if one is available.

Application and Enrolment Form

For more information on the application process you can call 01389 737309 or email:

What happens next?

Your application will be assessed against the priority criteria.  Every effort will be made to meet your preference. However, this will be dependent on places available and the priority given to applications. An Admission’s Panel will make the decision based on the admissions criteria.

Ballots for places

A ballot may be necessary if the number of applications received is greater than the number of places available. Likewise, a ballot will be held for any available places for ante pre-school children living in the nursery community.

Child’s Details, Family Details and Health Information

Please ensure the address given is the child’s permanent place of residence. If you are offered a place, you will be notified in writing and asked to confirm your acceptance of a place. You will then be invited to attend the allocated nursery with proof of your child’s identity and address (birth certificate and evidence of address) before your child is due to start. This is known as enrolment.