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Staffordshire will move to very high COVID alert level on 2 December

Golden tickets

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provides to Staffordshire County Council seven times per year, a list of families who potentially could be eligible for two year old funding (Think2). These families will be will be sent a personally addressed golden ticket in the post by our team.

Providing the golden ticket is validated before the expiration date on the golden ticket, parents with an age eligible two year old could access up to 15 hours of funded early education and childcare per week (across 38 weeks) or stretched across the year, depdending on what the provider offers.

There is no need for the parent to also apply online if their golden ticket is validated.

Validation process

What to do when a parent brings you a golden ticket:

  • If you feel the family meet the earnings criteria and have availability at the provision, collect the golden ticket when a parent hands it in as long as it is before the expiration date.

  • Complete a parent declaration form with the parent as this gives consent from the parent to share their information with us, whihc is a requirement to claim funded hours. You must check the child’s date of birth -  i.e. funding can begin no earlier than the term after a child's second birthday or immediately from the date of the golden ticket if the child is already age eligible and attending the provision.. 

  • Validate the golden ticket by contacting the early education and childcare Team (EEAC) on 01785 278 201 before the expiration date, you will need to supply to us:
    • Child's name and date of birth
    • Address of child
    • Ethnicity of child
    • Name of one parent
    • Parent's National Insurance number
    • Contact information of parent
    • Your setting name
  • We will then set up a record for the child and give the provider a unique confirmation code in order to claim the funding via the Early Years Portal. Providers can drop an email to eeac@staffordshire.gov.uk with the above information and your contact details or to request a call back at a convenient time. Please note: lines could be busy due to the numer of provider enquiries/ golden tickets that require validating at the time.


  • If you do not contact us to validate the golden ticket before the expiration date, or the parent presents the golden ticket to you after the expiration date, it will no longer be valid. You may then support the parent to apply online in the usual way by visiting the Think 2 pages and selecting ‘apply online’.

Any parent who does not receive a golden ticket can still apply online in the usual way if they feel they meet the criteria. Think2 vouchers with unique confirmation numbers will continue to be accepted as normal by providers.

Example golden ticket

Below is an example of what a golden ticket, providers will also be sent a crib sheet outlining information on golden tickets at the time they are sent out to parents.

Contact us

If you have any queries about the golden ticket, please contact us:

Phone: 01785 278201
Email: eeac@staffordshire.gov.uk

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