Free 15 hours per week (3-4 year olds)
Free Childcare for all 3 and 4-year-olds
Every child is entitled to receive 15 hours of free nursery funding from the term after their 3rd birthday and this will remain in place until the start of their Reception Year at school.
Child’s Birthday Funding Entitlement starts
1 January to 31 March – Summer Term (April)
1 April – 31 August – Autumn Term (September)
1 September – 31 December – Spring Term (January)
Providers must have signed Gloucestershire County Council’s Agreement for Early Years Funded Free Entitlement for 2, 3 & 4 year olds and for inclusion to the Directory of Early Years Providers 2014/15, to be able to offer a funded free place to parents.
The following providers who are delivering the EYFS can be included in the local directory:
- Providers registered with Ofsted as Daycare or Sessional providers (day nursery, playgroup, pre-school, private nursery school, school managed provision) on the Early Years Register
- Independent schools registered with the Department of Education
- Non-maintained special schools
- Providers who have been granted exemption from Department for Education
What You Can Expect
• Each child accessing the 15 hours of childcare is entitled to a total of 570 hours funded education during a year.
• You can take your FREE hours either termly (15 hours a week over 38 weeks) or stretch over the full year (570 over 50 weeks), if available at your chosen childcare provider. We recognise that some providers are not able to open for the full 38 weeks a year and so are not able to offer the full entitlement. Parents can choose a reduced entitlement if they wish as long as the provider informs the parents of the implications of this. Additional hours per week cannot be funded if the provision is open for less than 38 weeks per year e.g. 17.5 hours per week if the setting is open 33 weeks.
• Sessions cannot be more than 10 hours in any one day between the hours of 6 am and 8 pm, but may vary depending on the sessions available from your provider.
• You have the choice to only take the FREE entitlement hours if that is all you want, and this is completely FREE to you.
• Your child can take a packed lunch if you do not wish to purchase a meal from your provider.
• You can choose to use your FREE hours at one provider or split the hours between two e.g. a Childminder and a playgroup,
What is the entitlement?
The funding paid to the provider will continue as a 38 week offer and any arrangement to stretch the offer is a private matter between the provider and the parent, in accordance with the provider’s billing and invoicing policy. The hours and weeks can be stretched at a provider’s discretion.
If a child is attending two providers, then the number of funded hours per week cannot exceed 15. The maximum number of hours a child can attend a setting in one day is 10 hours. If a parent chooses to use two settings they can choose which setting(s) they wish the funding to be paid to.
Where children are accessing the free entitlement over the lunch period, any charge a provider makes for lunch must be agreed with parents in advance, and parents must be given the option of providing a packed lunch if this would be more affordable.
Providers must ensure that for each eligible child the funded entitlement is free at the point of delivery. They should not impose conditions on parents to which they must agree in order to take up their funded hours.
For more information please go to the Glos Family Directory website here. If you have any questions about the funding, contact the Family Information Service on 01452 427362.