Funded Entitlement for 3&4 Year Olds

What is Funded Entitlement (FE)?

All three and four year old children are entitled to 15 hours of funded Early Years (EY) education and childcare per week, across 38 weeks of the year.

You can choose to take this Funded Entitlement at any of the following registered ‘providers’:

  • Pre-school playgroup
  • Private day nursery
  • Childminder (who is registered to deliver the funded places)
  • Maintained nursery school
  • Nursery class in a primary or independent school.  
  • Out of Schools Clubs.

When can your child access a funded place?

Children will receive the funded provision from the term after their third birthday as follows:

A child born on or between

can access a funded place from

1 April and 31 August

the beginning of the Autumn term

1 September and 31 December

the beginning of the Spring term

1 January and 31 March

the beginning of the Summer term

How can the funded entitlement be taken?

The funded entitlement can be taken flexibly within the following limits:

  • Between 6am - 8pm
  • A maximum of 10 hours can be taken in one day
  • A maximum of two sites per day.

Splitting between different providers

You can take the funded entitlement at a maximum of two sites per day. Many providers will allow you to take the provision flexibly, in a pattern that meets your needs.

For example, your child could have nine hours with one provider and six hours with another provider.

Stretched offer

The stretched offer is for children who ONLY take up their funded entitlement i.e. they do not access more than 570 hours childcare across the year and are not paying for additional hours. The stretched offer is not to be confused with spreading a parent’s bill over 12 equal monthly payments so they pay the same amount each month.

Children can access their funded early education place in one of three ways:

  • The standard “term time only” model : 15 hrs per week for 38 weeks per year (570 hrs per year).
  • The stretched offer models:
    • 51 week model:  up to 11 hrs per week across 51 weeks per year   (561 hrs per year)
    • 48 week model:  up to 11.75 hrs per week across 48 weeks per year (564 hours per year)


  • If a child accesses the stretched offer they will not be able to access the full 570 hours funded entitlement across the year. Parents must be made aware before they agree to a stretched offer that they will not receive their full entitlement.
  • A child can stretch the offer at 2 providers - ONLY IF BOTH PROVIDERS ARE OFFERING THE SAME PATTERN OF ATTENDANCE, ie 51 weeks or 48 weeks as unfortunately we cannot accommodate a mix of offers. The minimum amount to be claimed at either setting is 2.5 hours per week. 
  • For children who access more than the funded hours, providers can pro-rata the bill over a 12 month period so that parents pay an equal amount each month. This is NOT the same as “stretching the offer”.
  • Please contact your provider as not all can offer the stretched offer.

How do I claim the Funded Entitlement?

  • You must let your provider know that you would like to claim the funded entitlement and how many hours you would like to claim each week.
  • Your provider will give you a ‘Parent Declaration Form’ for you to fill in, and they will claim funding on your behalf from the local authority for the funded entitlement.
  • Each term, providers have a deadline for claiming this funding. The local authority may not be able to fund a child who has not taken up a funded entitlement place by this date.
  • You will need to specify at which provider(s) you would like your child to take their funded entitlement place and how many hours you would like to claim at each provider.
  • Funding is for a minimum of half a term; if your child moves to another provider during a term then you need to inform the new provider as soon as possible, to see if there is a place available.You may not be able to claim the full entitlement if your child moves setting mid term.
  • Please note that if your child attends a place in a school nursery, reception class or nursery class, then the hours attended will be offset against the funded entitlement that your child is entitled to, so they may not be eligible for any additional funded entitlement.

Your provider will be able to give you more details on how to claim your funded entitlement place.

Additional charges

Some providers may charge for meals, snacks or optional extras as these may not always be included within the funded entitlement. If you take more than 15 hours per week or more than 38 weeks per year there will be a charge from the provider for these additional hours. Please check with your provider for full details of any additional charges.

Choosing a provider

All registered providers deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and are inspected by Ofsted for the quality of their early years provision. These reports are available for you to read either from the provider, at a library or on the internet (

To access a childminder’s report you will need to obtain their Ofsted unique reference number. Some providers may also have achieved or be working towards a quality assurance award such as the City of York Council’s ‘Steps to Quality’ scheme, or the National Childminding Association’s ‘Children Come First’ network. Speak to the provider for further information on this.

More information

For more information about the free entitlement or about providers in the York area, please contact the York Family Information Service.

Early Years Pupil Premium

Extra funding is available for your Early Years provider to further enhance the early years provision for your child – supporting their development, learning and care. Please see the parent factsheet under the useful documents section for further details.

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

From April 2017, the government has introduced the new targeted early years Disability Access Fund of £12.5m, to enable a fixed lump sum payment of £615 per eligible child per year to be paid to early years settings that are providing a funded entitlement place for 3 and 4-year-olds. The fund is to support early years providers to make initial reasonable adjustments and build the capacity of their setting to support disabled children. Additional funding for providing ongoing support for disabled young children will continue to be available from the high needs block, including for children with Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP). Children with SEND who are not in receipt of DLA will be able to access support from the local SEN inclusion fund. If you think your child might be eligible for DAF please speak to your childcare provider.