Frequently asked questions
How do I access the Citizen Portal?
You will need to use a computer, tablet or a smart mobile phone with internet access.
What do I need to register on Citizen Portal?
You will need to have access to an email address. This will need to be unique to the person registering. If both parents are registering on the Portal, separate email addresses will be required.
I do not have an email address, how do I apply?
If you do not have email address, the best option is to set up a personal email account - advice on how to create an email account. If you require additional support, please visit your nearest Children's Centre.
I do not have access to the internet, what should I do?
If you do not have access to the internet, your local library offers free use of computers and the internet. A family member or friend may also be able to let you use their internet access. If you continue to struggle to access the internet, visit your nearest Children's Centre.
I cannot use the Portal on my mobile or tablet, why?
Some browsers do not support the portal such as Safari, so you may want to change your browser settings or use an alternative device
I cannot access my Citizen Portal Account?
It could be you are using the wrong email address or password, be aware that the email address and password are both case-sensitive.
If you have forgotten your password click on ‘forgotten your password’ on the Citizen Portal home page.
What information do I need to make an application?
You will need your date of birth, legal name and national insurance number and you may also need your partner’s details. The data submitted will be checked against data held by the Department of Work and Pensions so if the information does not match you will be told you are not eligible.
Which parent’s details do I use?
To check the eligibility of a child we advise that the parent who is claiming the benefits their details are checked first.
How long does the response take?
If you have applied under economic criteria the response is immediate. If you wish to query the response this can take up to 15 working days.
If you apply under the non economic criteria the response will take up to 15 working days. This is due to the discussions required with the relevant professionals involved with the child and to allow time for any supporting evidence to be received.
Is there a deadline for applying for free early education for 2 year olds?
There is no deadline when making an application but there are limitation on when you can make and application and when an eligible child can start the funding. The earliest point for a child to start, would be the beginning of the school term following the child's second birthday.
The Portal will not let me start the application?
To ensure that eligibility checks are carried out at the correct time, the earliest point you can make an application is during the half term holidays of the school term you child turns two. This does not prevent you from registering on the Portal and returning to make an application at a later date.
I am Eligible - what next?
You should print or show the confirmation letter to your selected provider. This letter will be in ‘My Messages’ on the Portal.
Find an approved provider.
I believe the response is incorrect?
There are two reasons why you may be not eligible - view more information.
I have lost my eligibility code
You can retrieve your confirmation of eligibility and the code by logging into your Citizen Portal account.