All 3 and 4 year olds in England are entitled to free part-time early education.
Who is eligible for free education?
All 3 and 4 year olds and some of 2 year olds.
Free early education funding can be claimed by parents of all three and four year olds. Your child becomes eligible in the first full funding period following their third birthday:
|Date of birth||Eligible from|
|Child turns three on or before 31 March||1 April|
|Child turns three on or before 31 August||1 September|
|Child turns three on or before 31 December||1 January|
Your child remains eligible up to and including the term in which they turn five but once your child starts attending school, their free entitlement stops. Your child can start school in the September after which they turn four and must be in full time education at the start of the term after which they turn five.
Parents who are in receipt of one of the following:
- Income Support
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Support under part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit and have an annual household income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
Or if the Two Year Old:
- Has a current Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan
- Has left Local Authority care through Special Guardianship, Adoption or Residence Order
- Is currently a Looked After Child, for example in Foster Care
- Is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
When does funding start?
The following age parameters are used to decide when funding starts:
- Child who becomes 2 years old on or before 31 March – funding from 1 April
- Child who becomes 2 years old on or before 31 August – funding from 1 September
- Child who becomes 2 years old on or before 31 December – funding from 1 January
These children will then move automatically on to three year old funding, which is available for a maximum of 15 hours a week.
Do I have to pay anything towards this free place?
No, the Nursery Moksliukas will not charge you for any of your entitlement hours. The fees that would normally be charged for these hours will be removed from your invoice.
However, the Nursery may charge you for additional services such as snacks or specific activities (A.C.E. PACEs), or extra childcare that is additional to the free entitlement place.
How my free hours can be delivered?
The government has set out a framework for minimum and maximum national offer for Local Authorities to work to.
The minimum that parents can expect within any Local Authority is
- Five periods of 3 hours or
- Three periods of 5 hours each week
The maximum that a parent can expect is:
- No period longer than 10 hours
- No period shorter than 2.5 hours
- Not before 7am or after 7pm
- The full 15 hours over no fewer than two days
- A maximum of two providers at any one time
An early education place comprises 570 hours a year over no fewer than 38 weeks (13 weeks+12 weeks+13 weeks with short breaks in between) of the year from relevant date of birth qualifying date.
From April, 2014, a stretched entitlement provider is able to select Standard, Flexible or Stretched offer to the parents. Because Nursery MOKSLIUKAS is open full year round it gives you an opportunity to have stretched hours. In that case you can have free hours all year round: 11 h/weak+9 hours.
How to apply?
Parents and carers of 2 year old child need to contact Early Intervention Central Team on 02033730980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide their name, date of birth and National Insurance Number.
If an application is being made on the basis of Tax Credit or DLA then proof of these is required. Applicants should either send in a copy of the relevant document or take their application and proof along to their Children’s Centre for checking.
It is encouraged that all families, receiving this funding, engage with their local children’s centre.