Extension of early years funding to 30 hours a week

What is the Early Years Funding Entitlement Extension?

The government extended the 15 hours Early Years Funding Entitlement (EYFE) to 30 hours for 3 and 4 year olds with working parents in September 2017. This is know as the Early Years Funding Entitlement Extension or EYFEE.

When will the EYFEE funding stop?

Funding will stop the term in which your child turns 5. As the following term they are deemed to be of mandatory school age.

Who will be eligible for the funding?

  • both parents must be in work, as defined below, and for single parent families, the sole parent must be in work
  • for the purpose of this scheme, ‘in work’ is defined as being in employment (including self-employed) and earning more than the equivalent of the minimum wage for working 16 hours a week (approximately £125)
  • each parent must also earn less than £10,000 per year
  • one parent must be ‘in work’ if the other receives disability benefit or benefits related to caring responsibilities

How do parents apply?

  • parents can apply online or phone 0300 123 4097
  • if you have any difficulties obtaining your code please phone the helpline phone number 0300 123 4097
  • the eligibility code is then given to their chosen provider
  • the provider will then check the eligibility code with the Local Authority and find out the expiry date

How long will the eligibility code last?

Each code will last for three months. Parents will need to recheck every 3 months. You can sign up to a reminder service through the childcarechoices website.

What happens if parents fall out of eligibility?

There will be a grace period defined by when you fall out of eligibility. See the table below.

Date parent receives ineligible decision on reconfirmation Local authority audit date Grace period end date
1 January - 10 February 11 February 31 March
11 February - 31 March 1 April 31 August
1 April - 26 May 27 May 31 August
27 May - 31 August 1 September 31 December
1 September - 21 October 22 October 31 December
22 October - 31 December 1 January 31 March

You will need to discuss what happens once you have fallen out of eligibility with your provider, as you may incur costs.

Will I need to pay a registration or administration fee?

No, there should be no charges made to take up funded hours.

Will I need to pay a deposit?

Your provider can ask you to pay a deposit, however this must be returned to you in a suitable timeframe when you take up your place. If you fail to take up the place, the provider does not have to repay the deposit.

Do parents have to take up all 15 hours?

No, parents can take any amount of hours they wish to.

Do all providers of 3 and 4 year old early education have to offer it?

No, providers can choose whether to offer the additional 15 hours.

If I don’t want to take up the full 30 hours, will I be less likely to get a place?

No, there can be no requirements placed on taking up the funding.

Could providers state that all 30hrs have to be taken with them for a place to be confirmed?


Can I take up hours with different providers?

Yes, however a child can only attend two physical sites in one day.

Can I stretch the funded hours to cover school holidays?

Yes, however this would depend if your provider is able to offer this and if the eligibility code is still valid through the school holiday period. This will result in a reduction of the number of free hours available for you to use each week, the total will remain the same.

What times and days can I use the funded hours?

Providers have flexibility to provide funded hours. You can have a maximum of 10 hours at a time and not before 6am or after 8pm
Funded hours can be taken over weekends.

Can I change providers if I’m not happy?

Yes, we would suggest you speak to your provider if you are not happy before your moving your child and were possible, only transfer your child at the end of each term.

Will I get charged for lunches or trips out?

That is up to the provider, however they should have a policy on what would happen if you are unable or unwilling to pay. Please discuss this with your provider.