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Childcare funding information for three and four year olds and eligible two year olds.

Funded childcare for two year olds

Government funded childcare is available for all three and four year olds, and eligible two year olds. All eligible children are entitled to at least 15 hours of childcare for 38 weeks of the year, or fewer hours over more weeks.

Parents who have a two year old child and receive certain benefits may be entitled to 15 hours of childcare a week from the term following their second birthday.

What does two year old funding mean for me?

You may have parents who have a two year old and in receipt of certain benefits that may be entitled to 15 hours' funded childcare a week. If parents meet the criteria, their child can start the term after their second birthday and access up to 15 hours per week over 38 weeks or fewer hours over more weeks. These hours can be flexible, dependent upon your delivery model. The funding will remain in place until their child becomes eligible for the three and four year old funding.

What should your parents know?

Parents can apply by completing an application online on the Derbyshire County Council website, the eligibility result will be emailed to the parents email address provided.

Parents can also apply by:

  • texting Child to 86555 (texts cost 10p).
  • calling the team from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, tel: 01629 539316 or 01629 532835.

Funded childcare for three and four year olds

Every three and four year old child is entitled to 15 hours of universal early year’s entitlement a week from the term following their third birthday.

The introduction of the 30 hours extended entitlement has meant that many working families can claim up to 30 hours extended entitlement per week from the term following their child’s third birthday.

What does 30 hours extended entitlement mean for me?

30 hours extended entitlement childcare is available to eligible working families of three and four year olds. This is an additional 15 hours on top of the universal 15 hours available to parents of three and four year olds. Just like the universal 15 hours entitlement, you do not have to offer the extended entitlement 30 hours funded childcare.

What do your parents need to know?

Parents can check their eligibility for 30 hours through the GOV.UK childcare calculator and apply for 30 hours.

If eligible, the parent will receive an 11-digit eligibility code. Before a parent can take up a place they must bring their code, national insurance number and child’s date of birth to you, so you can check on the provider portal that their code is valid. You should encourage parents to bring you their code as soon as they receive it.

Approximately every three months parents will need to confirm that the details they entered on their application are up to date. HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) will email parents reminders to do this, but it is good practice for you to remind parents as well.

30 hours extended entitlement for funded childcare for foster carers

Working foster carers of three and four year olds may also be entitled to up to 30 hours of funded childcare for 38 weeks of the year, or fewer hours over more weeks. This is an additional 15 hours of childcare on top of the 15 hours universal entitlement for all three and four year olds.

Children in foster care will be able to receive 30 hours funded childcare if the foster carer is engaged in paid work outside of their role as a foster carer. There is no minimum earning limit. The foster carer must apply to us.

What do parents need to know?

Foster carer’s need to apply to the local authority that has responsibility for the child in foster care.

The foster carer will need to contact the child’s social worker to discuss whether accessing the 30 hours is consistent with the child’s care plan. The number of hours their child will attend provision will need to be agreed by the child’s social worker. If it’s agreed that the application is appropriate, the foster carer will complete the application form and have it counter-signed by your foster child’s social worker.

Evidence to support foster carer's application to the local authority

Foster carer’s will need to supply evidence to support their application. This may be any of the following documents:

  • payslips for the last three months
  • contract of employment to commence within 31 days
  • offer of employment letter to commence within 31 days
  • for self-employed people, a tax return for the last financial year

If the application is successful a 30 hours code will be issued, the foster carer must take this to their chosen childcare provider.

Foster carer’s will also need to reconfirm their eligibility with the local authority every three months. Foster carer’s will be reminded of the requirement to reconfirm four weeks before their code expires. If the eligibility code is not reconfirmed in time, the foster carer could lose the additional hours for the term.

If you or your parents would like any more information, please email:

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

All early years providers must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. This includes having arrangements in place to identify and support disabled children and children who have, or may have, SEN and medical conditions.

Derbyshire County Council will offer support to Early Years and Childcare providers in Derbyshire, to meet the needs of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. For further information regarding the Local Offer, contact the Early Years helpline;


Additional support available to providers and parents

Tax-Free Childcare

Working families (including those who are self-employed) could be eligible for tax free childcare if they have children under the age of 12 or have a disabled child under the age of 17. For every £8 a parent pays into their childcare account the government will pay an additional £2, up to a maximum of £2000 per child per year.

What does Tax-Free Childcare mean for me?

Tax-Free Childcare is a UK wide offer. Eligible parents with children under 12 can get up to £2,000 per child, per year, towards their childcare costs (or up to £4,000 for disabled children under 17).

Parents entering the scheme open an online childcare account which they use to pay you directly for childcare. Payments work just as they do through an online bank account. Each payment is accompanied by a reference number for each child so you can identify their payments.

Providers will only be able to receive Tax-Free Childcare payments from your customers if you’ve signed up to Tax-Free Childcare. 

Over time, Tax-Free Childcare will replace childcare vouchers. By signing up now, you’ll be ready to accept payments from parents as soon as they ask to pay using Tax-Free Childcare.

Parents can check their eligibility for Tax-Free Childcare through Childcare Choices. Like the 30 hours extended entitlement parents will also need to reconfirm that the details they entered on their application are up to date approximately every three months. 

You can also find information and materials on Childcare Choices communications toolkit.

Early Years Pupil Premium and Deprivation Funding

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) and Deprivation Funding is paid to Providers to support identified needs of disadvantaged children and improve outcomes.

What does EYPP and Deprivation Funding mean for me?

Providers should use EYPP and Deprivation Funding effectively with a clear plan for investing and using the additional funding and how this will benefit and impact identified children and reduce any differences in outcomes between groups of children. Providers will be asked to evidence how this additional funding has been used and what impact this has had on individual children. Providers will need to complete a form which includes how they have spent the additional funding and what the impact has been.

Providers need to evidence to Ofsted how they have spent this additional funding.

Providers will now claim EYPP and Deprivation Funding through two routes, either the Economic route where claims are made using the Provider Portal at headcount, or the Non-economic route where Providers will be required to contact the Early Years Sufficiency Service.

Economic route

Where a parent has supplied their details in order for the Provider to check eligibility for Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) and Deprivation Funding, the Provider will enter these in the Parent Details tab on the Provider Portal. Further information about how to claim is set out in the Provider Portal Guidance, “Claiming Free Early Education for Two, Three and Four Year Olds, A guide for PVI providers - August 2018”.

Non-economic route

Where a child has left care through adoption, special guardianship or a child arrangement order, Providers must request a copy of the relevant order from the family and forward a copy, with the setting’s details, highlighting that this is evidence for Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) and Deprivation Funding to the Early Years Sufficiency Service;

Disability Access Funding (DAF)

Three and four year old children who are in receipt of child Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and are receiving the free entitlement are eligible for DAF. 

What does DAF mean for me?

DAF is paid to the child’s early years setting as a fixed annual rate of £615 per eligible child. Section seven of the FE1 form should be completed by the parent if their child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance. If the child attends more than one Provider, the parent will need to nominate which one they wish to receive the DAF. The letter stating a child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance should be retained by the setting as evidence and made available upon request to a local authority Officer at compliance checks. The Provider should notify the local authority through the Provider Portal when submitting ‘Actuals’ data if they wish to claim DAF for a child.

Also see