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15 hours - Nursery and Early Education Providers

All children are entitled receive 15 hours of early education per week during term time. This is from the term after their 3rd birthday. This is known as a child’s ‘universal’ entitlement. 

Some families may also be eligible for extended hours for 3 and 4 year old children (known as 30 hours) or for 15 hours of early education for a 2 year old.

Families can find out if their eligibility for early education funding and for other help with childcare costs by visiting Childcare Choices (opens to new page)

Where can your child access their early education entitlement?
In a school nursery

All children attending a school nursery class will receive a universal 15 hours of early education per week term time only for 3 and 4 year olds. Some schools may offer additional hours including the extended entitlement or they may work in partnership with private providers to enable working families to access their 30 hours entitlement.

School nursery classes and maintained nursery schools (opens a new window)

Within private, voluntary, independent providers and childminders

You can search for providers that offer early education funded hours by using the Childcare Search You can then contact providers individually to discuss your needs and find out if they can offer your child a place.  Some providers may also deliver the extended entitlement. Providers who open for the whole year may stretch the funded hours across the whole year, to support working families.

Private, voluntary, independent providers and childminders (opens a new window)

Claiming early education funding 

Funding is paid directly to schools and providers so you will not need to make any payment for the agreed funded hours of early education. However, there may be charges for additional hours and services you access. When you apply for a place, the school, provider or childminder should always give information about the actual hours and weeks your child can access which will be funded. The provider should also give details of any additional hours or services and the charges which will be applied. This is to allow you to make an informed decision of taking up your child’s place with them.

How will my child benefit from their early education?

All early years settings follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS sets out the standards for learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

There are seven areas of learning and development . All of the areas are important and connected. The prime areas underpin children’s learning and development. The prime areas are:

  • Communication and language (speaking, listening and understanding)
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

As your child grows, the prime areas will help them develop skills in the following four specific sreas of learning:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The learning experiences that practitioners plan will be suited to your child’s unique needs and interests. Your child will take part in a wide range of playful learning activities both indoors and outside including:

  • Sharing stories, songs and rhymes
  • Talking with friends
  • Playing in groups and taking turns
  • Moving, exercising and being active
  • Finding out, creating, building, making
  • Counting rhymes and games
  • Exploring sounds and dancing
  • Pretending and imaginative play