The Education Network for Waltham Forest
Supported by Waltham Forest

Checking validity of eligible 2 year old Unique Reference Numbers (URNs)

Early Years Foundation Stage

It is a provider’s responsibility to check the validity of URNs before the child takes up their funded childcare place.

Payments for ineligible children will not be made so please read the guidance below to ensure understanding of how to check URNs are valid.

How parents obtain their URN

Parents with eligible 2 year olds will receive their URN one of three ways:

  1. Through My Early Learning website – this website assesses against the Financial Criteria only and will generate a URN beginning AF.
  2. Manually generated URNs – parents without internet access or who are eligible under one the Working Tax Credit criteria but assessed manually, please refer to the file 'Working Tax Credit 2 Year Old Free Eligibility Assessment.pdf.' For those who are eligible under one of the non-income based criteria (e.g. child with SEN plan) can contact the Childcare Team and be provided with a manually generated code. These codes will begin with LBWF.
  3. Ticket Numbers from postcards – parents who meet the Financial Criteria will be sent a postcard informing them their child is entitled to the FEEE and will include a URN (referred to as a Ticket Number on the postcard) which begins with FM or WT.

Checking validity of URNs

URNs with prefix AF:

Instructions are available to download in the blue box at the bottom of this page. For those with the prefix AF, the instructions document titled ‘Eligibility Checker Instructions- for reference with numbers with prefixAF.pdf’ can be downloaded from below.

Once the document has been opened, scroll down to the third page and follow the instructions from STEP 2.

Please note, if a supposedly eligible URN is entered which comes back as INELIGIBLE, please contact the Childcare Team on 020 8496 3566, so we can check against our records.

URNs with prefix LBWF:

Please contact the Childcare Team who will be able to verify the validity of the manually generated codes.

URNs with prefix FM or WT:

If a parent/carer presents one of our postcards which has a URN with the prefix FM or WT, this can be taken as proof of eligibility. 

However, it is important that the parent presenting the postcard is the person who the postcard is addressed to. Providers will therefore need to ask for proof of ID such as a driving licence, passport or identity card.

In the event a parent brings their URN without the postcard, please contact the Childcare Team so we can check against our records.


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Last updated: 
Tuesday, 14 January, 2014
Last updated: 14 January 2014 by Arjun Gadhvi