There are a range of free entitlements that enable families to have funded early learning places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. Slough Early Years Service co ordinates information about these entitlements and manages the payments to Early Years Providers for the provision of free places.
Funding Rates for Providers
Rates effective from April 2022
The hourly rate for 2 year old funded places is £5.94
The hourly rate for 3 & 4 year old funded places is £5.65
The hourly rate for deprivation funding is £0.72
The hourly rate for Early Years Pupil Premium is £0.60
The DAF allowance is a one off payment to the setting of £800 for children in receipt of Disability Living Allowance
Schools, approved Private Voluntary and Independent settings including childminders and children’s centres are funded at the above rates.
2 year old Funded Early Education
- 2 year olds whose families have a low income and are in receipt of certain benefits are entitled to 570 hours per year of funded early learning at an approved provider,
- The entitlement can be taken as 15 hours over 38 weeks of the year or fewer hours can be taken each week for more weeks of the year. The parent can request a setting provide a place for between 1 – 15 hours per week.
A child is eligible for a free early education place if the family is in receipt of one of the following benefits. Once the child has been approved for free early education they will continue to be funded even if the family does not meet the criteria at a later date.
- Income Support
- Income based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Parents are eligible for the two-year-old entitlement if their incomes is £16,190 a year or less, and:
- They are in receipt of child tax credit but not working tax credit
- They are in receipt of working tax credit but not child tax credit
- They are in receipt of the working tax credit 4 week run on.
- Parents are not eligible where they claim working tax credits and child tax credits at the same time.
- Universal Credit If a parent is entitled to Universal Credit they must have an annual net earned income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400, assessed on up to three of the parent’s most recent Universal Credit assessment periods.
- The children of the following families will be entitled to a free place if their parents are working and meet similar low-level income requirements to others eligible for the scheme (e.g. a household income of £15,400 a year or less after tax.)
- A. That they are excluded from claiming public funds as a consequence of their immigration status, or their lack of immigration status; and
- B. They are in receipt of support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
A child can also get free early education at the age of two, if:
- they are looked after by a local council
- they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP)
- they receive Disability Living Allowance
- they have left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order.
An eligible child will be able to start their free place from the beginning of the term after their second birthday. Parents can apply in the term of their child's second birthday using the Early Years Entitlement Online. or they can download an application form here: Free Early Learning Leaflet and Application Form .In some cases, further details and evidence of income may be required.
Hear Slough's Children and Families talking about free early education for 2-year-olds on the Asian Star Podcast .
Watch the following YouTube clips on Funded Early Education and COVID safe provision.
- Slough Early years – Staying safe, learning and having fun COVID-secure’ - YouTube
- A Slough parent champion talks about 2 year old free early education - YouTube
- Parent champion talks about her experience of accessing 2 year old funded early education - YouTube
- Parent champion talks about her experience of accessing 2 year old funded early education (Arabic) - YouTube
3 and 4 Year Old Universal Entitlement
- All children are entitled to 570 hours per year of funded early education from the term after they become 3.
- The entitlement must be taken at an approved provider and can be taken as 15 hours over 38 weeks of the year or, fewer hours can be taken each week for more weeks of the year. The parent can request a setting provide a place for between 1-15 hours per week.
- A child can take their funded early education hours at one or two sites each day but the total hours of universal entitlement will not be more than 570. For example, a child could attend one setting for 4 hours per week and another for 7 for 51 weeks of the year.
Information about the Universal Entitlement and approved early years providers is made available to parents by the Family Information Service information on Slough Services Guide or by contacting 01753 476589.
3 and 4 Year Old Extended Entitlement (30 hours)
3 and 4 year olds whose parents are working and earning the equivalent of 16 hours at minimum or living wage are entitled to a further 570 hours of funded early learning from the term after they become 3. This makes 1140 hours per year in total. This can be taken as 15/ 30 hours over 38 weeks of the year or, fewer hours can be taken each week for more weeks of the year.
Parents can access these additional hours by applying through the Childcare Choices website or the eligibility checking system at www.gov.uk/sign-in-childcare-account.
Providers of funded early education places must be approved by the local authority, compliant with the terms and conditions in the Slough Provider Agreement and agree to co operate with any compliance review.