Fees and Free Early Education Funding for 3 and 4 Year Olds

Nursery sessions are charged at £17.00 per session, for children who are not receiving the nursery education grant funding. However, if your child is receiving their nursery education grant at another setting, then the amount per session depends upon the grant being paid for by the Government.

When can my child start free nursery education?
Your child becomes eligible for a free Government Early Years Education Funded place from the start of the school term after their third birthday. This means that most three year olds will be able to start a free nursery place in the September, January or April following their third birthday.

A child aged three by:
31 March will be eligible for free nursery education from the Summer Term (April)
31 August will be eligible for free nursery education from the Autumn Term (September)
31 December will be eligible for free nursery education from the Spring Term (January)

However, as the nursery only has the capacity to have one in-take of children in September every year, sessions are not offered throughout the year (unless sessions become unexpectedly available, i.e. if a child leaves the area).

How many sessions can my child have?
Your child is entitled to a maximum of 5 sessions of 3 hours for 38 weeks of the year. Your child needs to be included in the headcount week by being registered with the nursery on the headcount day which falls within the first three weeks of term.

How do I get free Nursery Education?
Parents do not need to apply for the funding. Each term the nursery claims on your behalf for the number of sessions your child will be attending and then the Local Authority will pay the funding directly to us. The funding is not paid directly to parents.

Only one session can be claimed per morning or afternoon. You can use two sessions in one day, but there must be a break in between sessions of at least one hour. Sessions could be over five mornings or five afternoons per week or could be two and a half days subject to spaces available.

How will I know that my child will receive good quality nursery education?
Both schools and nurseries who provide the Early Years Education Funding must follow the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for 3 and 4 year olds. The quality of their provision is monitored by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED).

Do all five sessions have to be with the same provider?
The five sessions do not have to be used with the same provider, but you must inform both providers that you are splitting the sessions. You cannot have more than five funded sessions per week and you do not have to use all five sessions if you do not want to.