Early Years funding for 3 and 4 year olds
Children in England, aged 3 and 4 years old, can get 570 hours of early years education per year. If taken during term-time, this works out as 15 hours a week over 38 weeks of the year.
An additional 570 hours of early years education is also available for some families who meet certain criteria (30 hours a week if used over 38 weeks a year).
The date you start claiming depends on your child's birthday.
|When you can claim
|1 January to 31 March
|The beginning of term on or after 1 April
|1 April to 31 August
|The beginning of term on or after 1 September
|1 September to 31 December
|The beginning of term on or after 1 January
Your child is eligible for the universal entitlement up until the end of the term in which they turn five.
In Wiltshire, you can choose for your child to start school in the September after they turn four. When your child starts school, their entitlement stops, unless they attend a private, fee-paying school. They must be in full time education at the start of the term after they turn five.
Places are provided by a variety of childcare providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors including childminders.
To find childcare in your local area, please search our online childcare directory or contact us on the Childcare Information Line 0300 003 4561.
Your provider should not charge you for any of your entitlement hours.
The fees that would normally be charged by your early years provider for these hours must be removed from your invoice.
Your provider may charge you for additional services such as snacks or specific activities, or extra childcare that is additional to the early years entitlement place.
These additional services must be voluntary and cannot be offered as a condition of you accessing your early years entitlement place.
You cannot be charged administration fees if your child is only accessing the early education entitlement.
If additional childcare is taken up, then an early years provider can charge this fee.
The funding is allocated on the basis of where your child is educated, rather than where they live. For example, if you don't live in Wiltshire you will still be able to access your early years entitlement at a Wiltshire provider.
You don't need to do anything, except inform your early years provider that you wish to access the early years entitlement through them.
Your provider is responsible for claiming the funding for your child from Wiltshire Council, and will ask you to confirm your child's details and sign a termly parent declaration form.
You can split your child's entitlement between a maximum of two early years providers at any one time: three if your child has special educational needs and one early years provider is a district specialist centre.
Providers should ensure they have a complaints procedure in place that is published and accessible for parents who are not satisfied their child has received their Early Years Entitlement in the correct way, as set out in the Local Provider Agreement and in the Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities.
Parents who are not able to access their entitlement in the correct way should first approach the provider to discuss their concerns or complaints.
If parents are not satisfied or believe that the statutory guidance is not being adhered to, they should make their complaint to the Early Years Entitlement officers at Wiltshire Council via:
Online: Complete a Parent complaint form.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 minimum income requirement for a parent (over the age of 25) is £120 a week. The minimum wage for ages 21 to 24 years old is £7.05 an hour, therefore, the minimum income requirement for this group is £112.80 a week
A parent will expect (on average) to earn this amount over the coming three months. The eligibility criteria have been designed to accommodate parents with fluctuating incomes and those who are about to start working or increase their hours.
For example, a parent who is on a zero-hours contract will get work some weeks, but not others, and may not know in advance if they will have work in any given week. If, on average they work two weeks out of every three, and when they are working they get 25 hours of work at the minimum wage, their child will qualify for 30 hours of free childcare.
Families where one parent does not work (or neither parent works) will not usually be eligible for the extended entitlement EXCEPT where:
- both parents are employed but one or both parents is temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity or paternity, adoption leave, or on statutory sick pay
- one parent is employed and one parent either has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring, or is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits
Parents can be employed or self-employed.
Parents are required to apply for the extended entitlement of 15 hours childcare through HMRC. Parents must renew their 30 hour code approximately every three months via HMRC.
For advice and guidance on Government help with childcare costs for parents, please visit: GOV.UK Childcare Choices website
All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get 570 hours of early years education per year. If this is taken during term-time only, this would work out as 15 hours a week over 38 weeks of the year. Where children attend for fewer hours per week or a provider is unable to supply the maximum number of hours/funded weeks, the level of funding attracted will be prorated.
An additional 570 hours is also available to some families who meet certain criteria. (30 hours a week if used over 38 weeks a year). This is known as 'extended' entitlement.
See above for the list of criteria for which families will benefit from the extended entitlement of 30 hours per week.
It is the early years provider's responsibility to check that children are eligible for funding. They should ask to see birth certificates if they are in any doubt. You should not agree to reserve a place for a parent to access the extended entitlement without validating their code on the Establishment Portal dashboard. To meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) you are required to gain written consent from parents to check their codes, please use the consent form in the download section.
Funding is allocated on the basis of where the child is educated, rather than where they live. This means that all children attending should be claimed for whether they live in or outside Wiltshire.
The Department for Education's statutory guidance for local authorities on the provision of early education and childcare details the national conditions which providers must work to in order to qualify for early years entitlement.
Wiltshire's Provider Agreement is developed in consultation with the Early Years' reference group and summarises the national and local conditions providers must comply with in order to access the early years entitlement. It also provides information about the administrative processes involved in claiming the funding.
|2023 -2024 hourly rate
|Hourly rate from 1 September 2023 to 31 March 2024
|2 year olds
|All childcare providers
|3 and 4 year olds
|All childcare providers
|Funding period dates
|1 April to 31 August 2023
|1 September to 31 December 2023
|1 January to 31 March 2024
|13 - 22
|14 - 18
|11 - 13
|Max number of funded hours in funding period
|195 hours (universal entitlement)
195 hours (extended entitlement)
|210 hours (universal entitlement)
210 hours (extended entitlement)
|165 hours (universal entitlement)
165 hours (extended entitlement)
|21 or 28 April 2023
22 May 2023
23 June 2023
21 July 2023
21 August 2023
|22 September 2023
23 October 2023
20 November 2023
22 December 2023
|22 January 2024
23 February 2024
22 March 2024
|Estimated Hours - submission window opens in Establishment Portal
|24 March 2023
|1 September 2023
|4 January 2024
|Estimated Hours - submission window closes in Establishment Portal
|31 March or 18 April 2023
|8 September 2023
|10 January 2024
|15 to 19 May 2023
|2 to 6 October 2023
|15 to 19January 2024
|Headcount - submission window opens in Establishment Portal
|15 May 2023
|2 October 2023
|15 January 2024
|Headcount - submission window closes in Establishment Portal
|22 May 2023
|9 October 2023
|22 January 2024
|Financial Statement - emailed out to early years providers
|Week commencing 12 June 2023
|Week commencing 30 October 2023
|Week commencing 5 February 2024
|Financial Statement - closing date for amendments to be emailed to Early Years inbox
|3 July 2023
|17 November 2023
|26 February 2024
|EYPP and DAF lump sum payments made
|21 July 2023
|22 December 2023
|22 March 2024
|Mid-term changes - submission window closes in Establishment Portal
|21 July 2023
|29 December 2023
|29 March 2024
|Mid-term change payments made by
|29 September 2023
|31 January 2024
|30 April 2024
Wiltshire's early years providers receive funding for eligible three and four year old children on a monthly basis. The amount a group receives is calculated using a Single Funding Formula. Estimated payments are calculated at the beginning of each funding period through the submission of estimated hours by the provider via the Wiltshire Council Early Years Establishment Portal. Estimated payments are revised throughout the year as providers submit their actual hours via the termly headcount.
Early Years Pupil Premium is additional funding available to early years providers delivering funded hours to eligible three and four year old children. Funding has been set a national rate of 62p per hour and could give an early years provider an additional £353.40 per year per eligible child accessing the full 570 universal hours with them.
Children do not need to access the full universal entitlement to be eligible for Early Years Pupil Premium as funding will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
For more information have a look at the Pupil Premium page.
The Disability Access Fund is additional annual funding available to early years providers delivering funded hours to eligible three and four year old children. The following children will be eligible:
- child is accessing three and four year old entitlement, and;
- child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
Funding has been set at a national rate of £828 per financial year, and this will be paid as an annual lump sum payment to one early years provider nominated by the parent. Where a child attends more than one early years provider, the parent must nominate only one to receive the full funding.
Children do not need to access the full entitlement at a provider to be eligible. Once payment has been made, no further payment will be made to a new early years provider if the child moves to a new provision during the financial year.
|Bath & North East Somerset
|Other (please state)
|Extended ethnicity code
|Asian and any other ethnic group
|Asian and Black
|Asian and Chinese
|Black - Angolan
|Black - Congolese
|Black - Ghanaian
|Black - Nigerian
|Black - Sierra Leonean
|Black - Somali
|Black - Sudanese
|Black and any other ethnic group
|Black and Chinese
|Black North American
|Chinese and any other ethnic group
|Gypsy / Roma
|Hong Kong Chinese
|Latin/South/ Central American
|Other Black African
|Other ethnic group
|Other mixed background
|Other White British
|Sri Lankan other
|Sri Lankan Sinhalese
|Sri Lankan Tamil
|Traveller of Irish heritage
|White - Cornish
|White - English
|White - Irish
|White - Northern Irish
|White - Scottish
|White - Welsh
|White and any other Asian background
|White and any other ethnic group
|White and Black African
|White and Black Caribbean
|White and Chinese
|White and Indian
|White and Pakistani
|White Eastern European
|White Western European
Early Years Entitlement funding is provided by Central Government. To receive early years entitlement payments, you must be fully registered with Ofsted or a childminding agency.
To claim Early Years Entitlement funding you are agreeing to the Wiltshire Council Provider Agreement and will need to sign and return the form. Signed documents must be returned to email@example.com. These documents can be found under Downloads.
We will also need your bank account details. Complete the New provider early years entitlement form, via your Citizen ID account (if you do not have an account you can create one).
Following receipt of your signed Wiltshire Council Provider Agreement and your bank account details we will then be able to give you access to the Establishment portal, which is our secure website designed to manage Early Years funding claims and the statutory annual early years' census. An email will be sent to you to confirm this and will contain the joining instruction for the portal: Establishment portal.
Please allow 6 weeks from the date you submitted your bank details and signed Agreement Declaration September 2021, whichever is the latter, for a funding account to be opened and payment made