All three- and four-year-olds and some two-year-olds in England are entitled to 15 hours of funded early education and childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year.
Funded early education and childcare is provided by a range of different early years settings and childminders around North Yorkshire, such as:
- nursery schools;
- nursery classes in schools and academies;
- governor-run early years provision;
- day nurseries;
- childminders; and
- private daycare providers on children's centre sites.
Information about the different types of funding
Some two-year-olds in England are entitled to funded early education and childcare. There are eligibility criteria that you must meet, details of which are below. You can claim up to 15 hours per week for up to 38 weeks of the year.
To be eligible for a funded two-year-old place, you must receive one of the following benefits or credits:
- Income Support;
- Child Tax Credit and have a joint annual income not over £16,190;
- Working Tax Credits and have a joint annual income of no more than £16,190;
- The Working Tax Credit four-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA);
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA);
- Universal Credit - from 1 April 2018, if you are entitled to Universal Credit you must have an annual net earned income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400, assessed on up to three of your most recent Universal Credit assessment periods;
- Support through part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act; or
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit.
Contact the early years funding team on 01609 532394 if:
- Your two-year-old child receives Disability Living Allowance; or
- From 1 April 2018, if your two-year-old child has an education, health and care plan prepared under section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
Children looked after by a local council, such as with foster carers, are also entitled to a funded two-year-old place. Children are also eligible if they've been adopted from local authority care or if they have left care under a Special Guardianship Order, Child Arrangements Order or Residence Order. To confirm your place please contact the early years funding team on 01609 532394.
Please note, even if you have been confirmed as eligible for two-year-old funding by another local authority, you must still apply for funding with North Yorkshire if you would like to send your child to a North Yorkshire childcare provider.
If you are resident outside of North Yorkshire, i.e. you pay your council tax to a different authority and you want your child to attend a North Yorkshire provider, please contact the families information service on 01609 533483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your child is eligible, you can take up their place from the beginning of the term after their second birthday. The date you can claim will depend on when their birthday is.
|Child's birthday||When you can claim||We must receive applications by|
|1 January to 31 March||the beginning of term on or after 1 April||Last week in April|
|1 April to 31 August||the beginning of term on or after 1 September||Second week in September|
|1 September to 31 December||the beginning of term on or after 1 January||First week in January|
If you require additional hours of childcare over and above the funded 15 hours you will be able to discuss the charges for this with your childcare provider.
You may not be able to apply until three months before you are eligible, the system will not allow you to apply too early. Please refer to age guide above.
To offer two-year-old places, providers must have been:
- judged 'good' or 'outstanding' at their most recent Ofsted Inspection; or
- for a North Yorkshire County Council locality sufficiency assessment to have determined that a provision judged to be 'requires improvement' but not yet re-inspected by Ofsted is able to offer funded places during a period of improving practice under review.
To guarantee your place the early year providers must see the confirmation letter about two-year-old funding from us. You will receive this by post or email after you apply.
All three- and four-year-olds
All three- and four-year-olds are entitled to funded early education and childcare for 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. Your child can take up their funded place from the beginning of the term after their third birthday. The Government funding for your child's funded entitlement is paid directly to the setting. In order for this to be paid your child must be attending their childcare setting on the 'headcount day' each term. The setting will tell you when this is.
If you require additional hours of childcare over and above the funded 15 hours you will be able to discuss the charges for this with your childcare provider or you may eligible for the extended 30 hours childcare entitlement below.
The date you can claim will depend on when your child's date of birth is.
|Child's birthday||When you can claim|
|1 January to 31 March||the beginning of term on or after 1 April|
|1 April to 31 August||the beginning of term on or after 1 September|
|1 September to 31 December||the beginning of term on or after 1 January|
Example: your child was born on 15 February 2013. They'll become eligible for their funded early education and childcare from the start of term following 1 April 2016.
Three- and four-year-old children will be eligible for disability access funding if they meet the following criteria:
- the child is in receipt of child disability living allowance and;
- the child is in receipt of early years funded childcare at a North Yorkshire early years funded provider.
Parents must tell their child's early years provider that their child is in receipt of a valid disability living allowance award letter. You will be required to name the specific early years provider to enable the claim to be made.
The early years provider (nominated by the parent on parental agreement) will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £615 in a financial year (April to March).
Please note, a child is only eligible if they are currently in receipt of disability living allowance and will not be granted this funding if the award letter is not produced.
Disability access funding is not available for two-year-old children.
Extended 30 hours childcare entitlement for three- and four-year-olds
The funded childcare entitlement for three- and four-year-olds is now 30 hours per week for working parents. This supports working parents with the affordability of childcare and enable parents who want to work, or to work more hours, to do so.
Families in North Yorkshire who meet the eligibility criteria are entitled to 30 hours funded childcare each week in term time or 1,140 funded hours stretched across the year. Find out more below.
The national eligibility criteria which families need to meet are:
- both parents must be working (or the sole parent if in a lone parent family);
- each parent must have a weekly minimum income equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage; and
- each parent must have an income less than £100,000 per year.
You would also fit the criteria if:
- both parents are employed but one (or both) is temporarily away from the workplace on maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave, or on statutory sick pay;
- one parent is employed and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring; or
- one parent is employed and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits.
Parent's eligibility for the autumn term will be checked using the HMRC online application system.
Further information on eligibility
A 'parent' is defined as a person who has parental responsibility or care for the child. In cases where a parent has remarried or is living with a partner, the step-parent or partner must also meet the earnings threshold.
The definition of 'working' includes employed persons, self-employed persons and parents on zero hours contracts who meet the above criteria.
- All three- and four-year-old children are entitled to the universal 15 hours funding per week, regardless of a parent's income.
- Please check that your chosen provider can offer the 30 hour extended childcare entitlement. Being eligible does not mean that a child will be guaranteed a place.
- Children in a maintained reception class are not eligible for the 30 hour extended childcare entitlement.
- Foster carers are eligible for the extended entitlement if they meet the criteria set out above for their own children. Foster carers are not eligible for the extended entitlement for the children that they foster.
- Two parent families where one parent does not work (or neither parent works), or lone parents who do not work will not be eligible for the extended entitlement.
- Where one parent is working (and meets the income requirements) and the other is not working because they are disabled or are in receipt of benefits relating to caring responsibilities or a disability (e.g. in receipt of carer's allowance), we will treat these households as eligible.
To apply for your extended entitlement you will need to:
- Access the Childcare Choices website and create an account.
- Enter your details - if you are eligible you will then receive an 11 digit code (you may be asked for additional information at this stage before the code is issued).
- You must take this code to your early years provider or school.
- Your provider or school will then validate this code with the council before your early education and childcare place is agreed.
- You will also need to re-confirm your code every three months.
Dates by which you need to get your code for 2018 terms:
- For the spring term - by 30 November 2017
- For the summer term - by 27 February 2018
- For the autumn term - by 30 June 2018
Dates by which you need to give your code to your provider or school for 2018 terms:
- For the spring term - by 15 December 2017
- For the summer term - by 23 March 2018
- For the autumn term - by 13 July 2018
These are two separate government schemes, to help parents with the cost of childcare. You can apply for both through one online application - the childcare service.
To qualify for either scheme, parents must be working and each earning at least £120 a week (on average) and not more than £100,000 each a year.
Parents can use tax-free childcare alongside the 15 and 30 hours free childcare schemes in England, or any free childcare hours provided by the Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland governments.
Parents can't use tax-free childcare at the same time as they receive childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits. However, 30 hours free childcare can be received alongside these schemes.
When you apply, you'll be considered for both these services through the same application. You'll only be asked to decide which support you want if you're on tax credits or using a childcare voucher or salary sacrifice scheme. You should check what help you could get with childcare costs, using the childcare calculator. This will help you decide which support is best for you.
To access your account and to view your eligibility codes for free childcare, visit the site below and sign in. You will be asked some security questions and to provide your Government Gateway ID, which you will have received when you applied. Once logged in, you can find your codes under "30 hours free childcare" or "Secure messages".
If you find it difficult to locate the 11 digit code once you have successfully applied online, see this step-by-step guide on how to find it again.
Further information about early education places and funding
Once you have chosen the place for your child, you will be asked to sign a parental agreement that says when your child will attend.
This agreement will run for at least a school term and possibly for the whole school year. Once you register for early education funding through your child's provider, we will pay the grant directly to them.
Every early learning provider has an admissions policy that clearly states how they offer free learning and childcare places. You may wish to ask for a copy of this.
It is likely to be some time before the number of nursery places in local authority-maintained nursery schools and classes matches demand. Priority for admission is in the following order:
First: children with a statement of special educational needs.
Second: children who are recommended by the assistant director of children's social care, including children in the care of the local authority, or by the appropriate designated medical officer. We will only consider applications in this category if they are supported by a recommendation from a doctor, social worker or other appropriate professional which says that it is essential for the child to go to the preferred school and no other.
Third: children from homes with poor conditions or overcrowding, or from a background which could affect their educational development. This should be supported by the recommendation of a doctor, social worker or other professional.
Fourth: children within the normal area of the school, giving priority to the eldest child first.
Fifth: children from outside the school's normal area, giving priority to those whose home is nearest the school.
If you would like us to consider your child for a local authority-maintained nursery place, first speak to the headteacher of the school.