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Your Child's Progress Check at 2 — Explained

Your Child's Progress Check at 2 — Explained

Children in England are subject to an official Progress Check once they reach the age of 2.Both Ofsted and the Department of Education (DfE) require that all nurseries, pre-schools and early years providers in England adhere to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) learning and development framework. This prescribes the key areas of focus required for children’s education, learning and development, also providing guidelines and benchmarking for things like safeguarding, welfare and the continual assessment of every child under the age of 5. As part of the assessment element, a Progress Check comes into play for every child once they reach the age of 2.

The Progress Check at 2 — What’s it All About?

The progress check can occur any time from the age of 2 up to the point when children reach the age of 3. It’s a complete review of the child’s progress in key areas of their learning and development. It’s part and parcel of the EYFS’s policy of sharing information between the early years provider, parents and/or carers — and sometimes the child’s health visitor* — in order to support the child’s progress going forwards. The progress check happens jointly and a summary is provided to parents/carers in written form. This will help both the childcare provider to support the child when at nursery, pre-school or similar, and the parents/carers to support the child while they are at home.

The progress report must primarily identify:

  • Any strengths that the child has in relation to the 3 ‘prime’ areas of the EYFS The progress check identifies strengths and any concerns in relation to the 3 'prime' areas of the EYFS. (those areas being Communication and language, Physical development and lastly Personal, social and emotional development);
  • Any concerns about the child’s progress in any of those prime areas, i.e. where their progress has been less than expected. This may even include possible identification of one or more special educational needs or disabilities.

Practitioners may, at their discretion, also summarise strengths and any concerns they have in regard to areas outside the EYFS’s 3 ‘prime’ areas, for example in any of its 4 ‘specific’ areas.

Support Plans

The idea behind appraising the child’s overall progress at this formative age is, of course, to help support the child where they are struggling and, wherever possible, to help mitigate any issues at an early stage. Part of this may include involving the childcare setting’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo), health professional* or indeed any other professional(s)*, if deemed appropriate.

“Support plans may include strategies and specific activities to undertake when they’re at the early years/childcare setting and, crucially, also when they’re at home.”

The progress check allows early years professionals and parents to support children via a focused strategy, with specific activities to help them.A support plan will be developed to precisely target any areas of concern, in order to support the child in the best ways. As much as is possible, it should help them catch up before they begin school, all being well. Such an aim is incredibly important at this young age, otherwise the child may be held back educationally and/or developmentally, going forwards, in a kind of domino effect.

Support plans may include strategies and specific activities to undertake when they’re at the early years/childcare setting and, crucially, also when they’re at home.

The progress check is also, of course, a very useful tool to pass on to any new early years provider should the family move. Doing so will allow the early years practitioners at the new setting to be better informed and thereby better able to support the child in the most appropriate way.

A Clarification Regarding the HCP’s 2 Year Review

The progress check at 2, undertaken by early years providers (nurseries etc.), is not to be confused with the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) and its 2 year review, although the two may be closely linked. The HCP 2 year review is undertaken, in parallel, by healthcare professionals, usually a health visitor, around a similar age (2 to 2½). It is focused primarily on health, immunisation uptake, physical and mental development and wellbeing and also offers some parenting support. Although, strictly speaking, it’s a different review to the early years ‘progress check at 2’, it does make sense to ‘join the dots’ and to integrate the findings of the two together. The Progress Check at 2 often goes hand-in-hand with the Healthy Child Programme (HCP)'s 2 year review.One should inform the other. Indeed they may sometimes be carried out together if your child has started going to a nursery or similar. The timing of the two types of review is no coincidence, as the age of 2 is a key one in respect to the development of speech, language and social, emotional and cognitive development. Clearly such things can be linked to health/development as well as to early learning, so there is a clear cross-over. Hence, one ideally feeding into the other, to gain a more complete understanding and wider picture for each child. For this reason, parents/carers are encouraged to allow the sharing* of information from the early years progress check with professionals like their health visitor where appropriate.

We hope that this helps to explain the progress check at the age of 2, but if you have any questions, please contact your child’s early years/childcare provider — including Tic Toc if your child attends the Ilford nursery.

Nursery Places for Babies & Children Under 5 at Tic Toc Nursery, Clayhall, Ilford

Tic Toc Nursery and pre-school offers high quality childcare services in Clayhall, Ilford, Essex (IG5).Are you looking for outstanding childcare services for your baby or under-five child in the Clayhall/Ilford area of Essex? If so, take a closer look at Tic Toc Nursery, where our high quality early years practitioners, facilities and approach to early years learning and development gives little ones the very best start in life. Why not visit the nursery/pre-school with your child to see for yourself! We’ll be happy to show you around and to answer any questions that you might have. We are a high quality nursery and pre-school in Clayhall, Ilford (IG5), in Essex and are also convenient for childcare if you live or work in Barkingside, Gants Hill, Redbridge, South Woodford or Fulwell Cross. We welcome enquiries, so please get in touch to learn more or to request a nursery place for your child (please choose an option below):

* Information is shared with third parties only with the consent of the child’s parent(s) and/or carer(s), except where required to do so by law.

FREE Childcare for Eligible 2-Year-Olds

FREE Childcare for Eligible 2-Year-Olds

The Government scheme entitles eligible 2-year-olds to 570 hours of free childcare over the course of a year.Having covered free childcare funding for 3 and 4-year-olds in England last time, we now look at free childcare for eligible 2-year-olds. Specifically, we’re looking at the Government’s scheme that entitles eligible 2-year-olds to 570 hours of free childcare over the course of a year. This is usually taken as 15 hours per week over 38 weeks, however some childcare settings can cater for a different pattern, if feasible.

The Benefits of Free Childcare Funding for 2-Year-Olds

Free childcare for 2-year-olds can be an absolute godsend for working families, often helping them to boost both household income and quality of life by being able to work while their child is safely cared for at a nursery.

It’s also hugely beneficial to the 2-year-old child, who benefits from an early start on their education. This allows them to receive an educational boost in readiness for school as they approach the age of five, meaning they can be several steps ahead, right from the moment they start. This can have a welcome domino effect. Starting early education by the age of two can lead to long-term gains including better outcomes in their lives and even eventually in their careers. Starting early education by the age of two can lead to better outcomes in the medium and long term.Such benefits, stemming from their experience at the age of just two, are incredible when you think about it. The findings are backed up by various studies around the world, including by the UK’s own Department of Education.

So, whichever way you look at it, free childcare funding for 2-year-olds is a great thing for children who are eligible — and their families.

What’s Included or Excluded

The free funding for 2-year-olds can be used to cover only the actual childcare, not any ‘extras’. According to HM Government’s rules, the funding does not cover meals, snacks, nappies and things like sun cream, nor does it cover extra-curricular activities like trips. Such things may be charged as extra by the chosen childcare provider, so it’s best to clarify such things directly with them to avoid any unexpected costs.

If you’re located in the Clayhall or Ilford area of Essex, the good news is that Tic Toc Nursery is a participant in the scheme and accepts the funding as payment for the childcare of eligible 2-year-olds.

Eligibility for Free Childcare Funding for 2-Year-Olds

Children may also be eligible if they have Special Education Needs (SEN).Unlike the free childcare hours for 3 and 4-year-olds, eligibility for 2-year-olds requires that the family is receiving some kind of financial support from the Government. Examples include Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance, Universal Credit (with a household annual income below £15,400 after tax, excluding benefit payments), Child Tax Credits (with a household income below £16,190 before tax), Pension Credit (the guaranteed component) or the Working Tax Credit “4-week run-on” payment.

Figures correct at time of writing (June 2022).

2-year-olds can also be eligible for the free childcare funding if:
• a local authority looks after them;
• they officially have special education needs or are subject to an EHC (Education, Health & Care) plan;
• they receive Disability Living Allowance;
• they have left care via a Child Arrangements Order, Special Guardianship or Adoption Order.

Tic Toc Nursery accepts Government funding for the childcare of eligible 2, 3 and 4-year-olds.The rules above apply to childcare in England. Special rules apply to families in England that are non-EEA citizens(). Different rules and schemes also apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

When Can Eligible 2-Year-Olds Start?

Eligible 2-year-olds can begin using the free childcare hours in the term beginning on or after the 1st of January, 1st of April or 1st of September following their 2nd birthday.

How to Apply for Free Childcare Funding for 2-Year-Olds

Check the eligibility requirements above and, if you you believe your child is eligible, we advise you to have a chat with your childcare provider to get the ball rolling. Tic Toc Nursery would be happy to discuss this with you if you are looking for childcare in the Clayhall/Ilford area, so do get in touch if so. You can alternatively contact your local council.

Free Childcare for Eligible 2-Year-Olds at Tic Toc Nursery, Clayhall, Ilford

Tic Toc Nursery and pre-school offers high quality childcare services in Clayhall, Ilford, Essex (IG5).Tic Toc Nursery accepts Government childcare funding for eligible 2-year-olds as well as eligible 3 and 4-year-olds — subject to capacity at the nursery/pre-school, of course. So, if you would like to register your child for a place, or explore the possibility of doing so, we’d love to hear from you. The nursery/pre-school is based in Clayhall, Ilford (IG5), in Essex and is also located conveniently near you if you are looking for the best nurseries or pre-schools near Barkingside, Gants Hill, Redbridge, South Woodford and Fulwell Cross. We would welcome your enquiry, so please contact us (see option buttons below):

How to Get Free Childcare for Your 3 or 4-Year-Old

How to Get Free Childcare for Your 3 or 4-Year-Old

Eligible 3 & 4-year-old children can get 570 to 1140 hours of free childcare per year.You may have heard about the Government’s free childcare schemes for children aged 3 and 4, giving them between 15 and 30 hours of free childcare on a weekly basis. These ‘free funded hours’ give eligible children anywhere from 570 to 1140 hours of free childcare per year at a suitably registered, Government-approved childcare setting. Tic Toc Nursery is one such setting in Clayhall, Ilford, and we’re happy to support the schemes to make childcare more affordable for families. But how do the free childcare schemes work? What are the rules? More importantly, is your child eligible? In today’s post we give you answers to these and many other questions relating to free, funded childcare hours for 3 and 4-year-olds in England.

The ‘15 Hours’ Free Childcare Scheme for 3 & 4-Year-Olds

The good news is that pretty much all 3 and 4-year-old children living in England are eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare per week, across 38 weeks of the year. It’s not means-tested, nor is eligibility affected by whether parents/guardians are working — or unemployed.

This scheme allows 3 and 4-year-olds to receive free childcare for 15 hours per week and this is usually taken over the course of 38 weeks per annum. However, it must total no more than 570 hours in any one year. Exactly how the hours are spread out can vary, though, so long as:

  1. the childcare setting agrees to the adjustment in how the hours are spread out and;
  2. it still totals no more than 570 hours over the course of the year after adjustment.

Children are eligible once they reach the age of 3 and they can start at approved childcare settings in the term following that birthday. Terms at childcare settings usually start early in January, April or September. The children remain eligible for this free childcare scheme until they start in Reception year at school or reach the age of 5, the legal age at which full-time education becomes compulsory in the UK.

Applying for the ‘15 Hours’ Free Childcare Scheme

To apply for 15 hours of free childcare per week for your 3 or 4-year-old at Tic Toc Nursery in Ilford, please contact the nursery and we’ll be happy to help. If you’re elsewhere in England, you can apply by contacting your proposed childcare provider or through your local council.

Please note that funding for the free childcare hours is paid direct to the registered childcare setting, not you/your child. Claims cannot be backdated.

The ‘30 Hours’ Free Childcare Scheme for 3 & 4-Year-Olds

Eligible 3 and 4-year-olds can top up the standard 15 hours with an additional 15 hours per week, over 38 weeks of the year.Eligible 3 and 4-year-olds can top up the standard 15 hour scheme with an additional 15 hours per week, potentially giving them 30 hours per week of free childcare over 38 weeks of the year. As before, it’s sometimes possible to use the hours so they’re spread out differently, so long as they total no more than 1140 hours per annum. Again, the childcare setting would also need to agree the alternative pattern.

Rules around the top-up to 30 hours per week are more stringent than the standard ‘15 hours’ scheme, however. That means that not every 3 or 4-year-old will be eligible, although many families will still fit the criteria. Let’s take a look at the requirements:

  • Your child must usually be living with you in order for them to be eligible for the ‘30 hours’ funding scheme.
  • You (and your partner, if applicable)1 must have a National Insurance number and either be UK nationals, have settled/pre-settled status (or have applied for it), or hold a UK residence card that allows access to UK public funding. You must also usually be working2 (or re-starting work in the next 31 days), earning at least the total amount you’d earn in a quarter if you worked for 16 hours per week at the National Living Wage (or National Minimum Wage if under 25), but no more than £100k total in the relevant tax year. While the bottom threshold cannot include interest on savings, dividends, property investment income nor pension payments, the top £100k threshold must include any bonuses.

Rules around the top-up to 30 hours per week are more stringent than the standard ‘15 hours’ scheme.Eligibility for the ‘30 hours’ funding is also not usually affected if you are claiming Tax-Free Childcare, Universal Credit, Tax Credits or childcare vouchers. You cannot claim, however, if someone else is already claiming the funding or Tax-Free Childcare for the child in question.

Applying for the ‘30 Hours’ Free Childcare Scheme

If you believe you meet all the criteria, you can apply for the 30 hours of free childcare for your child here. N.B. If you are a foster parent, you will need to apply instead via your local authority or through your social worker.

As with the ‘15 hours’ scheme, the funding for the ‘30 hours’ of free childcare per week is paid direct to the registered childcare setting, not to you/your child. A code will be provided for you to give the setting, so they can access the funding allocated for your own particular child. As before, claims cannot be backdated.

Free Childcare Schemes are Accepted at Tic Toc Nursery & Pre-School in Clayhall, Ilford.

Tic Toc Nursery and pre-school offers high quality childcare services in Clayhall, Ilford, Essex (IG5).Children absolutely flourish at Tic Toc and we support the Government schemes for free childcare, subject to eligibility and capacity. We are a family-run nursery and pre-school, offering high quality childcare services in Clayhall, Ilford, Essex (IG5). Our setting will also be a convenient for your child if you are looking for nurseries, pre-schools or childcare services near Barkingside, Gants Hill, Redbridge, South Woodford, Fulwell Cross, Fairlop, Grange Hill, Hainault or Newbury Park.

Please get in touch if you would like to arrange a visit, find answers to any questions or simply to enrol your baby, toddler or under-five child for a place at the nursery:

1. Your partner’s employment and income does not affect eligibility for 30 hours funding if they live elsewhere for more than 6 months of the year or if they are serving a prison sentence.
2. If you are not working but your partner is, your child may still be eligible if you are currently claiming Carer’s Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance or contribution-based Employment & Support Allowance. You, and your partner if applicable, may still apply if on sick leave, annual leave or parental leave although rules apply.