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Early education places and funding

All three and four-year-olds in England are entitled to 15 hours of free early education and childcare each week for 38 weeks of the year. Some two-year-olds are also eligible.

Free early education and childcare is provided by a range of different early years settings and childminders around North Yorkshire:

  • nursery schools
  • nursery classes in schools and academies
  • governor-run early years provision
  • day nurseries
  • pre-schools
  • childminders
  • private daycare providers on children's centre sites

You can view a map showing the location of early years settings and childminders around the county here.

To offer two-year-old places, providers must have been:

  • Judged 'good' or 'outstanding' at their most recent Ofsted Inspection; or
  • For a North Yorkshire County Council locality sufficiency assessment to have determined that a provision judged to be 'requires improvement' but not yet re-inspected by Ofsted is able to offer funded places during a period of improving practice under review.

Two-year-olds

Some two-year-olds in England are entitled to free early education and childcare.

To be eligible for a free two-year-old place, you must receive one of the following benefits or credits:

  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credit and have a joint annual income not over £16,190
  • Working Tax Credits and have a joint annual income of no more than £16,190
  • The Working Tax Credit four-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credits
  • Support through part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Your two year old child receives Disability Living Allowance

Children looked after by a local council, such as with foster carers, are also entitled to a free two-year-old place. Children are also eligible if they've been adopted from local authority care or if they have left care under a Special Guardianship Order, Child Arrangements Order or Residence Order.

Check if your child is eligible

To check if your child is eligible, please use the electronic checking service:

If you have any queries, please contact the families information service on 01609 533483 or email fis.information@northyorks.gov.uk.

If your child is eligible, you can take up their place from the beginning of the term after their second birthday. The date you can claim will depend on when their birthday is.

Child's birthdayWhen you can claim
1 January to 31 Marchthe beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 Augustthe beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 Decemberthe beginning of term on or after 1 January

Contact your local children's centre for more information.

If you require additional hours of childcare over and above the free 15 hours you will be able to discuss the charges for this with your childcare provider.

All three and four-year-olds

All three and four-year-olds are entitled to free early education and childcare for 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year. Your child can take up their free place from the beginning of the term after their third birthday. The Government funding for your child's free entitlement is paid directly to the setting. In order for this to be paid your child must be attending their childcare setting on the 'headcount day' each term. The setting will tell you when this is.
 
If you require additional hours of childcare over and above the free 15 hours you will be able to discuss the charges for this with your childcare provider.
 
The date you can claim will depend on when your child's date of birth is.

Child's birthdayWhen you can claim
1 January to 31 Marchthe beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 Augustthe beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 Decemberthe beginning of term on or after 1 January

Example: your child was born on 15 February 2013. They'll become eligible for free early education and childcare from the start of term following 1 April 2016.

Inspections of early education providers

Early education providers are regulated and inspected by Ofsted. You can find out more about their inspections and read their inspection reports on the Ofsted website.

Early education - frequently asked questions

This page was last updated on 6 December 2016