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Funding Information

The approved base rate for 2019/2020 is £4.91 per hour for 2 year olds and £3.91 per hour for 3 & 4 year olds, for the universal hours and the extended hours.

Please note, some information within the Information for Practitioner section can only be accessed once you have registered and requested practitioner access.  Details of how you can do this can be found by clicking here.

Universal Funding for 3 and 4 Year Olds

Understanding Funding for 3 and 4 Year Olds

Funded free early years places are available for three and four year old children from the term after their 3rd birthday, for up to 15 hours a week.

Understanding Funding for 3 and 4 Year Olds

Funded free early years places are available for three and four year old children from the term after their 3rd birthday, for up to 15 hours a week.

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 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
  • Childminders
  • Providers who have been granted exemption from Department for Education

What is the entitlement?

A funded child will be entitled to up to 15 hours a week (570 hours per year) over a minimum of 38 weeks. A provider can agree to stretch the offer over more than 38 weeks, as long as the hours claimed over the year are not more than 570.

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.

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.  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 should not impose conditions on parents to which they must agree in order to take up their funded hours.

Providers must ensure that for each eligible child the funded entitlement is free at the point of delivery. 

Providers must have signed Gloucestershire County Council's Agreement in order to receive funding.

Support for Providers - who to contact

  • General funding information

Gloucestershire Family Information Service (FIS) can help parents and providers make sense of information about the different childcare entitlements.  They can also confirm eligibility of children claiming 2 year old funding.  Phone 01452 427362 (Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, answer machine at all other times) or email

  • 2 year old, 3 & 4 year old universal entitlement or extended entitlement (30 hours) funding payment details and the online portal

With any queries about how the funding works, how to input information into the funding portal, guidance on what charges you can make to parents and how to keep this within the terms of the funding agreement etc, contact the Nursery Funding Team (Sue Bodenham, Ben Mumford, Glynis Russell, Rico and Emma) on 01452 328668 or notes on the changes to the Funding Portal can be found in your gmail account.

  • Business support and advice

If you’re unsure whether you can offer the 30 hours or would like advice on how to maintain a successful business model, the Business Support Team provide business support and advice to all childcare providers (including schools). Contact them on 01452 427810 or email 

  • Schools

If you’re from a school setting and would like to understand more about the 30 hours extended childcare entitlement contact Liz Giles or Rebecca Jelf on 01452 328518 for information and advice.

Signposting Parents

You can help parents work out which childcare entitlement would suit them best by encouraging them to complete the Childcare Choices Calculator (  This calculator informs parents which entitlements they are eligible to claim.  They will need the following information ready to use the calculator and apply for their childcare entitlement:

  • Parent’s name, address and National Insurance number and the same details for their partner (if they have one)
  • Child/ren’s date of birth
  • Details on their income
  • Details on any benefits they or their child receives

You can keep yourselves up to date by regularly visiting the Childcare Choices website ( Look for the ‘Childcare providers: What you need to know' option on the homepage to take you to provider information.

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