Information for providers on early education funding for two, three and four year olds.
All three and four year olds and some two year olds are entitled to free early education and childcare of 15 hours per week, 38 weeks per year, 570 hours per year. Children are able to access the free early education entitlement the term after their second or third birthday.
From September 2017, eligible three and four year olds will be entitled to 1,140 hours per year (30 hours a week term time).
If you are a new childcare provider, you can apply to become a funded provider for two, three and four year olds.
If you are an existing provider, further information and downloadable documents are available below.
Two year olds
A two year old can get free early education and childcare if they live in England and if the parent/carer gets one of the following:
A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:
Two year old children in low income families are now able to take up a free place when their parent(s) have one of the following types of immigrations status:
Parents must apply and check their eligibility for the two year old entitlement using an online application form.
Or face to face support is available from the Gateway Centres and by telephone 0161 778 0384 Option 2.
Children are eligible to receive the early years funding from the start of the term after their second birthday until the child qualifies for free funding as a three year old, even if the family’s circumstances change.
Parents cannot apply before the start of the funding period in which the child’s second birthday occurs.
Following a successful application, the childcare provider will need to see a Salford eligibility voucher before a funded place can be offered. Please note the only evidence you can accept to offer a funded place is the Salford eligibility voucher. You are not able to accept a reference number or code or another local authority’s confirmation. Any parents who cannot produce the Salford eligibility voucher should be asked to contact the Starting Life Well service on 0161 778 0384 or email email@example.com
Three and four year olds
Free early education and care available to all three and four year olds the term after their third birthday until they start reception class.
15 hours per week 38 weeks per year is available and this can be stretched out to include holiday periods - although this can only be done from the beginning of each new term.
Parents/carers should contact their chosen nursery/childminder to arrange a place.
Extended Entitlement for three and four year olds - 30 hours
A three or four year old can get the extended entitlement of up to 1,140 hours of funded childcare, if the parents meet the following criteria:
Parents must apply for the extended entitlement hours through the Childcare Choices website.
If parents are eligible, they will receive an 11 digit code to take directly to a participating childcare provider. Childcare providers must then gain written permission to verify the code with the local authority (parent agreement form below).
Once verified, a place can be confirmed for the funding period.
The entitlement is available over 38 weeks, term time only, or taken over the entire year, e.g. to include holiday periods too, flexible or stretched.
Parents should apply when the child turns three to ensure government funding is available the following term.
Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)
The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) is additional funding for early years providers to enhance the education they provide for disadvantaged three and four year olds.
Children must receive free early education in order to attract EYPP funding. They do not have to take up the full 570 hours of early education they are entitled to in order to get EYPP.
Providers will receive an additional 53p per hour for each eligible child.
Providers must submit data on parent/carers, including their name, date of birth and national Insurance or NASS number for a check to be done. This data is submitted via the Capita Provider headcount portal. Data can be gathered via the parent declaration form (below).
Get more information on the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) and how to claim this additional funding.
Provider funding agreement 2018/2019 (downloadable document below)
The agreement for the funding of free early years provision for two, three and four year olds sets out the expectations between Salford City Council and the provider and refers to early years provision free of charge (sections 7 and 7A of the Childcare Act 2006) and free childcare (section 2 of the Childcare Act 2016) as the ‘free entitlement(s)’ or ‘free hours’ or a ‘free place’.
This agreement has been written using guidance from the:
and is based on the:
Documents are available at the bottom of the page.
The agreement applies to the 15 hours entitlement for the most disadvantaged two year olds, the 15 hours entitlement for working parents of three and four year olds (the universal entitlement) and the additional 15 hours entitlement for working parents of three and four year olds (the extended entitlement, 30 hours).
In addition to these:
The Provider funding agreement is for:
The parental agreement (downloadable document below) is for:
The council and the provider have agreed to enter into this agreement in order to provide free entitlement places for two, three and four year olds.
How much will I get paid for providing the Early Years Funded childcare?
Early years providers are funded to provide childcare at a rate of £4.85 per hour per eligible two year old and an average of £4.04 for three and four year old funding (dependent upon supplements paid). Each childcare provider is given their indicative budget rates each year. EYPP funding for eligible children is added to the three and four year old rate paid. This is paid at £0.53p per hour.
Please see below for the three and four year old funding rates
Base rate: £3.71
Quality: Graduate Leader
Deprivation: Calculated using the average IDACI score for all children attending each setting
|Band 1||0% - 25%|
|Band 2||25% - 30%|
|Band 3||30% - 40%|
|Band 4||40% - 50%|
|Band 5||50% - 60%|
|Band 6||60% - 100%|
Can I offer Early Years funding?
To offer the Early Years funding for two, three and four year olds a provider must be:
What do I need to do?
Each term you will need to:
The parent contract form, which is available to download below, is to be completed with the parent and for your records; it does not need to be returned to the service. The timetables, which are also available to download below, contain two tabs, one showing the timetable and the second tab has key dates for processing the two, three and four year old funding via the Provider Portal.
Early education and childcare provision is defined in the Childcare Act 2006. This definition of childcare specifically excludes care provided for a child by a parent or step-parent (or other relative).
As set out in section 18(4) of The Childcare Act 2006, a relative includes:
What to do if a two, three and four year old funded child stops attending a setting
Please complete the two, three and four year old funding non-attendance form.
Early Years Census Return (annual return)
The Early Years Census return (EY Census) is an annual return which has to be completed every January. The Department for Education (DfE) requires every Childcare Provider who is claiming funding for a two, three or four year old to complete this return. The EY Census return is in two parts.
Part 1 is Child Data which is collected via the Provider Portal Headcount module and
Part 2 is Establishment Data which is also collected via the Provider Portal Self Update Module.
Full guidance is issued annually (mid December). A guide is available to download below.
Please note a childcare provider who is on the approved funding list is only required to complete the Early Years Census Return if they have or will have a funded child.
For further information or advice, please email the Starting Life Well team at SLW@salford.gov.uk. You can also call 0161 778 0384.
Upload your evidence to the Starting Life Well service, such as a DLA eligibility statement, Universal Credit statement or funding forms and agreements. You can do so by visiting one of our Scan Zones. Scan Zones are located in all the Gateways and Broughton Hub, they are touch screen, tablet devices that allow customers to self-scan documents.
If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.
This page was last updated on 3 March 2021