Early Years Education and Childcare - Information for Childcare Providers

Providing Early Years Education (EYE) Funding

Child playing in the garden with toys

Early Years Entitlement

If you are an Early Years Provider or a Childminder who provides or is thinking of providing Early Years Education (EYE) funded places, then this page will provide links to information and the documentation you will need.  You can provide EYE funded places for eligible two year olds and three and four year olds from the funding period after their birthday.  Childcare providers that offer two year old places will need to have an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

For parents/carers wanting to find out more information and to see if their family qualifies please visit the Early Years service - information for parents.

Directory of Providers

The Directory of Providers is a list of all settings and childminders who offer EYE placements across the Isle of Wight. Settings and Childminders wishing to join the Directory of Providers should email eyat@iow.gov.uk for further information.

Online Eligibility Checker – Two year olds/Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)/30 hours Extended Entitlement

The Isle of Wight Council use the Online Eligibility Checking Service (ECS) to check entitlement for the two year old / Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) / 30 hour offer.

Parents can check their own eligibility through an online checker to see if their child is eligible for the two year old offer or  EYPP. Providers should encourage the use of the online portals.

Provider Portal

The provider back office portal is used to check parent’s eligibility

Early Years Education Funding (Universal)

The Government provides a funding scheme for all 3 and 4 year olds to attend and receive funded Early Years Education (EYE) from an EYE provision for Universal 570 hours the term after their third birthday.

The Department for Education (DfE) have developed a national offer to improve the outcomes of eligible two year olds who would benefit from access to high quality early years and childcare provision.  Children who are eligible (see criteria below) are entitled to up to fifteen funded EYE hours per week over 38 weeks, a total of 570 hours. If eligible the term after their second birthday.


A 2 year old is entitled to the EYE funding if their parents/carers receives any of the following:

  • The child comes within the criteria used to determine eligibility for Free School Meals (FSM) this includes.
  • Income Support.
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit.
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190).
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
  • Universal Credit.


Or the 2 year old:

  • the child has a statement of special educational needs made under Section 324 of the Education Act 1996;
  • the child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) prepared under Section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014;
  • the child is entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) under Section 71 of the Social Security and Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;
  • they are looked after by a Local Authority (LA) under Section 22 (1) of the Children Act 1989; or they are no longer looked after by a LA as a result of an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangement order (within the meaning of Section 8 (1) of the Children Act 1989.

Stretched Entitlement

Providers may choose to offer parents a “stretched” offer by using their 570 hours across the whole year. The year will start from the funding period after the child’s 3rd birthday and 4th birthday, and if applicable the child’s 2nd birthday. For children who are four years of age in the Autumn or Spring funding period, the hours will be limited.

Providers should make it clear in their documentation to parents that taking up the “stretched” offer will mean that fewer than 15 hours a week can be claimed. The stretched offer reduces the number of hours per week and allows parents to spread their entitlement over more weeks so that they can use some of their hours in the holiday periods if they wish.


  • 11 hours over 51 weeks = 561 hours (15 hours universal)
  • 22 hours over 51 weeks = 1122 hours (30 hours extended)


Early Years Education Extended Entitlement (30 Hours)

From September 2017, where parents are working an entitlement to 30 hours funded childcare for their three and four years olds subject to an eligibility check across 38 weeks, a total of 1140 hours.

The extended entitlement is to help families reduce the cost of childcare and support parents back into work or work more hours, should they wish to do so.  This will be an additional entitlement to the existing 15 hours (570 hours) universal entitlement.

In order to be eligible for the 30 hours EYE funding childcare parents/carers of three and four year olds will need to meet the following criteria:

  • The child has attained the age of three; and
  • The child’s parents/carers has a positive determination of eligibility from HMRC.


HMRC criteria includes:

  • They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.
  • This equates to £120 a week (or c.£6,000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or£112.80 a week (or c.£5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old.
  • This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.
  • The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work.
  •  Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.
  • Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.
  • Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (i.e. they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
  • If a non-EEA national, the parent must have recourse to public funds.


A parent will not meet the criteria when:

  • Either parent has an income of more than £100,000.
  • Either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control (and has no recourse to public funds).


To apply for the additional 570 hours of early year’s education funding please go to HMRC website Childcare Choices.

Parents should be directed to the online 'Eligibility Checking System' titled 'can I get help with my childcare' on the Childcare Choices website  this is also where they can submit an application.  Providers may support parents with their permission to do so. Providers may confirm eligibility using the ‘Provider Back Officer Portal’ once an application has been submitted (see above).

Providers claim funding by completing a headcount form each funding period (Spring/Summer/Autumn).  Claiming guidance is sent out each funding period with the headcount forms.  The three claiming periods are calculated over 38 weeks and do not take into account bank holidays. 

Providers must be aware they sign up to offer a parent access to a full entitlement and if closures occur due to i.e. development days which could impact on a parents ability to access their funding, they may be in breach of their funding agreement with the Isle of Wight Council.

Grace Period

There will be grace periods covering temporary absences from the workplace, which will help families maintain childcare arrangements, avoiding disruption for children and providing parents/carers with the opportunity to regain employment.  This will also give providers certainty knowing that if they offer a place with the additional hours, they will not need to fill that place immediately if a parents/carers circumstances change.  Parents/carers can also apply for Tax Free Childcare at the same time, to learn more about this visit the GOV.UK website .  

Provider Portal

As with the 2 year old portal, providers use the ‘Provider back office portal’ to check parent’s eligibility for 30 hours and look at the validity dates for the period HMRC have agreed.

Early Years Pupil Premium

All three and four year old children attending an Early Years education setting may be eligible to receive Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP), if their parents/carers meet specific criteria.  Providers could claim an addition £302 per year for each child to spend on supporting their development, learning and care.  Parents should be directed to the online Eligibility Checking System to submit an application; providers may support parents with their permission to do so as part of the parent declaration form.  To access the Early Years Pupil Premium portal, please click here.

Providers may confirm eligibility using the Provider back office portal once an application has been submitted.

Guidelines for EYE Providers and Childminders

The following documents and guidelines apply to all providers and childminders who are registered with Ofsted as Early Years Providers to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage and who seek to be or are in receipt of Early Years Education (EYE) funding.

Please click on the following links to have access to the documents.