Early Years Education (EYE) funding for eligible children

Eligible families are entitled to EYE funding based on the age of the child and the eligibility criteria

EYE places are available in Ofsted registered school nursery classes, private day nurseries (including independent schools), pre-schools and childminders. They need to be approved by the local authority to deliver EYE.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development, and care of your child from birth to 5 years old in order to deliver EYE.

Local authorities follow the Department for Education's (DfE) Early education and childcare statutory guidance to deliver the EYE for eligible children.

Hampshire County Council uses this guidance to develop the Early Years Education Payment Funding Terms and Conditions which all childcare providers who deliver EYE in Hampshire are required to comply with.

Your child’s entitlement to the EYE funding

The entitlement to EYE starts in the funding period following the eligible child’s birthday, on 1 January, 1 April, and 1 September.

When is your child's birthday? Your child becomes eligible for funding Period when funding starts
1 January to 31 March (Spring) From 1 April Summer
1 April to 31 August (Summer) From 1 September Autumn
1 September to 31 December (Autumn) From 1 January Spring

EYE will stop the funding period before your child starts school, even if it is on a phased start, EYE funding is only available up to statutory school age.

More information about Starting School in Hampshire

Child starts school in the period EYE eligibility ends Parents responsible for funding childcare
1 September to 31 December 31 August From 1 September

If you would like your child to continue attending their early years setting even though they are of school age then please see Decelerated admission for summer born children for further information.

How much EYE funding is my child entitled to

Up until 31 March 2024 the existing EYE funding offers 15 hours to all to all 3 and 4 year olds, and some eligible 2 year olds that meet the criteria. Working families of 3 and 4 year olds can access an additional 15 extended hours, up to 30 hours funded childcare.

From April 2024, existing EYE funding will be expanded in phases. By September 2025, working families with children under the age of 5 may be entitled to up to 30 hours of funded childcare.

The changes are being introduced gradually to make sure that providers can meet the needs of more families. This means that:

  • From April 2024, eligible working families of 2 year olds will be able to access up to 15 hours funded childcare.
  • From September 2024, up to 15 hours funded childcare will be extended to eligible working families of children from the age of 9 months.
  • From September 2025, eligible working families of children from 9 months until they start school will be entitled to up to 30 hours funded childcare.

Depending on your early years setting, these hours can be used over 38 weeks of the year (during school term time), or up to 52 weeks using fewer hours per week (spreading the same entitlement over the funding year).

How the EYE funded hours can be taken

Families can use more than one approved early years setting for their child to access their funded hours.

EYE can be offered flexibly by early years settings but in any one day:

  • no session can be longer than 10 hours
  • no sessions to start before 6am or finish after 8pm
  • no more than two early years settings.
Standard and Stretched EYE funding offers

The funded offer is for 570 hours per year or if eligible up to 1140 hours.

The Standard delivery for EYE funding is up to 15 hours a week for 38 weeks.

For parents who would benefit from their child attending more than 38 weeks, some early years settings are able to offer these funded hours over a stretched period of up to 52 weeks. This means that fewer than 15 hours a week will be available.

These are three examples of how the funding could be claimed, but this will differ depending on the number of weeks the early years setting is offering EYE and open during the year.

Funding weeks per year Maximum hours per week Autumn (1 Sept to 31 Dec) Spring (1 Jan to 31 Mar) Summer (1 Apr to 31 Aug) Total hours claimed
38 weeks 15 hours 210 hours / 14 weeks 180 hours / 12 weeks 180 hours / 12 weeks 570 hours
48 weeks 11.875 hours 190 hours / 16 weeks 142.5 hours / 12 weeks 237.5 hours / 20 weeks 570 hours
51 weeks 11.18 hours 179 hours / 13 weeks 145 hours / 13 weeks 246 hours / 22 weeks 570 hours

It is not possible to change your funding pattern of delivery from “standard” to “stretched” offer during the funding period.

How do I access an EYE funded place?

To find an early years setting use the Hampshire Family Information and Services Hub (FISH).

You will need to talk to the early years setting(s) that you choose; you will be asked to complete the EYE Parent Declaration Form. If you will be using more than one early years setting you must declare this on the form.

Please be aware the early years setting will have policies relating to charges to cover costs (for example additional hours, meals, and consumables, such as nappies/sun cream/outings). You must discuss this with your chosen early years setting(s) before your child takes up a place, so that you are clear about how charges will be applied.

Further information and translations

Sign up to receive notifications for information and updates to the government Childcare Choices website and check to see what childcare support you might be eligible for and find the right offer for you.

You can search for childcare services using the Hampshire Family Information and Services Hub (FISH).

The Hampshire Local Offer publishes information, support and services for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

Translated information for parents: Early years education for children in Hampshire.

If you need support from Ethnic Minority and Travellers Achievement Service (EMTAS) you can call the phone line (Term time only)

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Contact us

Family Information Service

Phone: 0300 555 1384

Email: [email protected]