You may be entitled to funding for your child’s early learning. There is specific funding for all three and four year old children, and some funding available for two year olds.
All three and four year old children are entitled to receive 15 hours of free early years education per week, 38 weeks per year. This can be administered over three terms or stretched out to suit your needs.
Your child becomes eligible:
- If your child is born between 1st April and 31st August, they will be eligible for a free place from 1st September following their third birthday, until statutory school age.
- If your child is born between 1st September and 31st December, they will be eligible for a free place from 1st January following their third birthday, until statutory school age.
- If your child is born between 1st January and 31st March, they will be eligible for a free place from 1st April following their third birthday, until statutory school age.
Two year old funding is not available for all two-year-old children. Families must meet set criteria to be eligible and places may be limited. Please ensure you read the criteria to check if you are eligible before submitting your application.
Funded 30 hours Childcare
To access a funded 30-hour place the family must have a valid code and the child must be of eligible age.
Suffolk County Council can only fund places where the eligibility codes meet the requirements set by the Department for Education (DfE), and where the child is of eligible age.
This means from the term following their 3rd birthday. With terms starting on 1 January, 1 April and 1 September.
We work to the government's operational guidance for local authorities and childcare providers, which says:
"When Parents can Claim and Start a 30 Hour Place
- Parents should be encouraged to apply the term before their child turns three to ensure they can access a place when they want it. If they do not receive a code before the deadline, they will need to wait until the following term to access their 30 hours place.
- Parents can apply up to 31 days before taking up or returning to work. The earliest a parent could receive a 30 hours code for their child is 16 weeks before they turn three. If a parent applies before this point, they will only be able to apply for Tax-Free Childcare.
- Local authorities are not expected to secure the additional free hours where the parent has applied after the 31st August, 31st December or 31st March."
This can be administered over three terms or stretched out to suit your needs.
To check if you are eligible in Suffolk, please visit the Suffolk council website.
If you would like more information about funded places then please contact us. You can also find further information on UK Gov website.
For example: Your 15 hours can be used in the following way
|3 x Mornings||8:00am - 1:00pm||15 hours|
|3 x Afternoon||1:00pm - 5:30pm||13.5 hours|
|2 Full days||9:00am - 4:30pm||15 hours|
For example: Your 30 hours can be used in the following way
|5 x Mornings||8:00am - 1:00pm||25 hours|
|5 x Afternoons||1:00pm - 5:30pm||22.5 hours|
|3 Full days||8:00am - 5:30pm||28.5 hours|
|4 Shorter days||9:00am - 4:30pm||30 hours|