Achieving Two Year Olds

A2YO is our four year national support contract for DfE delivered with our
partners Mott MacDonald (2012-2016).

A key objective of the Government’s social mobility and childcare policies is to offer
up to 15 hours free early learning for the 40% least advantaged two year olds.

Watch our growing series of films showcasing the latest two year old developments


Since the announcement in 2010 that an entitlement to early learning for some two-year-olds would be introduced, the Department for Education (DfE), local authorities and providers in England have been working hard to deliver funded places for eligible families.

Activities have been focused on the statutory duties to fund places which was introduced in two phases in the Septembers of 2013 and 2014. In implementing the programme and in its continued delivery and development, there has been a triple focus on:


  • Quality provision that best meets the needs of two-year-olds and their families
  • Developing places capacity in new and extended settings, and looking at new models of delivery
  • Reaching and engaging eligible families, so they know about their entitlement and are able to easily access it when they need to.

Support & Challenge

Based on A2YO’s work across the country and feedback from providers and local authorities, we have compiled a set of common characteristics of areas where take-up is highest. Not all areas will show all of these characteristics, and some areas experiencing lower take-up of the entitlement may have adopted many of our suggestions.

In our guide: Learning From What Works, there are examples of how some of these factors have been used to great effect. There are plenty of useful ideas that can be pursued in other areas so the entitlement continues to reach children for whom it would benefit the most. All examples are also provided online in the A2YO Knowledge Hub group. This has been a vibrant online community where ideas and resources have been shared and debated since we started in 2012.

The Knowledge Hub can be found at: knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/group/achievingtwoyearolds

In addition A2YO has published a range of other resources delivered through a considerable number of support plans, much of which is available on the Knowledge Hub:


  • •  IT systems and processes toolkit
  • •  Place development strategies
  • •  Workforce development
  • •  Working with schools
  • •  Communicating with parents toolkit
  • •  Learning from What Works 2015 (download PDF)

We employ a regional manager team, working with local authorities and providers to meet the challenge:

james@hempsalls.com (Central);
ann@hempsalls.com (South);
jopringle@hempsalls.com (North);
barbara@hempsalls.com (London and East).