Skip to content

Golden Tickets: Funded childcare for 2-year-olds

A Golden Ticket allows you to access funded childcare for your 2-year-old, if eligible. This could be a place in a nursery, preschool or with a childminder.

There are two types of Golden Tickets:

  • If your ticket says that your child is entitled to funding, take your card to your chosen nursery, pre-school or childminder.
  • If your ticket says that your child may be entitled to funding, you need to check your eligibility at and if eligible you will be given a number starting ‘TYF878’ and sent a letter to take to your chosen nursery, pre-school or childminder.

Only those providers that are judged as good or outstanding by Ofsted will be funded to admit 2-year-olds. Occasionally, if there are not enough good or outstanding places in an area, a provider with a ‘requires improvement’ outcome will be funded. You can find out where there are approved providers that take funded 2-year-olds here.

We receive information from the Department for Work and Pensions about families who may be eligible and we send those families a Golden Ticket.

Your 2-year-old is eligible for funded childcare if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Universal Tax Credits
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit – if you and your partner have a combined income from work of less than £15,400 a year after tax
  • Child Tax Credit with an annual household taxable income (as assessed by HMRC) not over £16,190
  • Working Tax Credits with an annual household taxable income (as assessed by HMRC) not over £16,190
  • The Working Tax Credit 4 weeks run on
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Or if your 2-year-old:

  • attracts Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • is looked after by the Local Authority
  • has left care through special guardianship or through an adoption order or residence order or
  • has a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan.

A Golden Ticket is also sent to the carers of 2-year-old children in care and to parents of children with a statement or education, health and care plan.

If you have not received a Golden Ticket but think you may be eligible, you can check your eligibility and apply at or call 0345 155 1013.

When you have checked eligibility, and the result is ineligible, and you feel that this is incorrect please contact us on 01392 385530 and then email with evidence.

If you are the parent of an adopted child or a foster child where the child is in the care of another local authority please contact us on 01392 385530 or email

Golden Tickets are changing colour to Purple from June 2019, but there will still be two types.  If you currently have a golden coloured ticket these are still valid.

Purple Golden TicketPurple Golden Ticket