Key policy facts
Children must be 3 years old (or 2 years old if applicable) on or before the last day of the month before the funding term starts. To confirm you qualify you will need to complete a form at the nursery and show your child’s original birth certificate.
Universal Entitlement – 11 hours and 11 minutes free for 51 weeks of the year
This is a total of 570 hours of funded childcare per year for all three and four-year-olds in the UK. Your child becomes eligible for this funding at the start of the term following their third birthday.
- Children born in the period 1st January to 31st March. The start of term beginning on or following 1st April after the child’s third birthday;
- Children born in the period 1st April to 31st August. The start of term beginning on or following 1st September after the child’s third birthday;
- Children born in the period 1st September to 31st December. The start of term beginning on or following 1st January after the child’s third birthday.
Extended Entitlement – 22 hours and 21 minutes free for 51 weeks of the year
An additional 570 hours per year, (giving a total of 1140 hours per year), for certain three and four-year-old children whose families meet the following criteria:
- Both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family), and each parent earns, on average:
- A weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW); and
- Less than £100,000 per year.
The government website www.childcarechoices.gov.uk provides further information and advice on the options that may be available to you.
How it works at our nursery
We provide sufficient sessions in a week that allow for the maximum amount of childcare to be accessed, subject to availability.
We ‘stretch’ our funding offering. This means that instead of receiving 15 or 30 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year we provide 11 or 22 hours per week for 51 weeks of the year. We do this as it matches our year-round opening principle.
Embedded Funding – For children who have full-day and part-day bookings we embed the funding within those sessions within a Core Hours framework (see below). We automatically allocate the maximum allowable number of hours of funding each week, charging for the childcare accessed in addition to this funding. This is calculated by the value of the sessions attended less the sum of the number of hours of allocated funding at a rate on or above the local authority funding rate.
Funded Only – Each nursery has a limited amount of funded only places where 5 sessions of 3 hours in length can be booked subject to availability. These sessions will combine Funded Morning (AM) and Funded Afternoon (PM) sessions that will need to be applied for and booked on a termly basis with no guarantee of success. Each month an invoice will be produced that shows a NIL (£0) value for these sessions unless there have been any charges incurred such as late collection fees or additional sessions or lunch periods booked.
Using the Core Hours framework we can help you to benefit from any funding entitlement you are eligible for within your booked session. For more information about how the Core Hours framework, please contact our nursery and our team would be delighted to help.