Early Years Service - Information for Parents

Early Years Funding

Childcare Campaign Poster

Childcare Choices

Childcare Choices is a new Government website that has been set up to help parents discover the various ways they can get support to help pay for childcare.  Parents can go online and find out information about the 2, 3 and 4 year old 15 hour offers and also about the new 3 and 4 year old 30 hour free childcare offer that is launching in September 2017 and Tax Free Childcare.

Visit the  Childcare Choices website and learn more about these childcare support schemes.

Application Process

  • To find out if you are eligible for the 30 hours free childcare offer for your 3 or 4 year old child, click on this link then scroll down the web page to the ‘30 hours free childcare’ tab and click on ‘apply now’ and follow the instructions.


Free Early Years Education Funding (EYE) Funding

Free Early Education is available to all three and four year old children living In England and to eligible two year olds, if you are on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits.  For further information on Two Year Old Funding, please click here (PDF, 175.54KB, 2 pages).

Children are entitled to 570 hours of free childcare per year. Once your child is entitled your childcare provider will claim 3 and 4 year old funding automatically. 

Application Process

  • If you think you are eligible to claim two year old funding, you can apply online using our two year old eligibility checking system. The system will send you an automatic response.  
  • Alternatively you can download an application form  (PDF, 53KB, 2 pages).

Please note: The universal entitlement can be accessed from the funding period following a child's third birthday or from their second birthday if eligible.

The way in which the entitlement is offered to parent/carers must adhere to the statutory guidance, to view the guidance visit GOV.UK website .

  • The 15 hours can be used, over a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of five days.
  • No more than 10 hours in any one day.
  • Over 38 weeks (3 x school terms) or pro-rata over a maximum of 51 weeks a year (stretched entitlement).  View our guidance leaflet on 'stretched entitlement' (PDF, 453KB, 2 pages).
  • Between the hours of 6 am - 8 pm.
  • It can be shared between a maximum of two childcare providers per day, without being subject to conditional additional payments.



Claim Period

Child's Birthday - between:

When funding can start:


1 April - 31 August

1 September


1 September - 31 December

1 January


1 January - 31 March

1 April


The local authority will recommend a total number of funded hours claimable each funding period to ensure the funding covers the 38 week period.  Any additional hours taken over and above the funded entitlement is a separate contractual agreement with your childcare provider and must be paid for.

If a child starts his/her placement after the beginning of a funding period, funding will start from when your child takes up a place and cannot be backdated.

You will be requested to complete a parent declaration form which confirms your agreed pattern of attendance for a funding period.  This form is a contractual agreement between you and the childcare provider for the whole of that period.  Moving providers during an agreed funding period will only be authorised under exceptional circumstances, the local authority has no legal responsibility to offer a funded placement at a provider of choice.

For further information on taking up educational funding please see our FAQ’s above and check our Parent Information sheet  (PDF, 500KB, 7 pages).

Early Years Pupil Premium

The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) came into effect from April 2015 following a national consultation. It builds on the model of the school age Pupil Premium and is focused on 3 and 4 year old children attending an educational place who meet a specific eligibility criteria.  

Application Process

  • To claim this additional funding for your child apply using through our Early Years Pupil Premium online checking system. For further information, please click here.

Eligibility Criteria

Your child may be eligible if you receive any of the following benefits:

To learn more about the benefits listed below, click the links provided and you will be taken to the GOV.UK website:  

  • Income support. click here
  • Income-based Job seekers Allowance. click here
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. click here
  • Child Tax Credit (provided family is not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income  of no more than £15,400). click here
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (the payment someone may receive or a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit). click here


Funding maybe available if your child falls into one of the following groups:

  • Has been looked after by the local authority for at least one day.
  • Adopted from care.
  • Has left care through a special guardianship arrangement.
  • Is subject to a child arrangement order.

If your child falls into one of the groups above, you will need to speak to your social/agency worker who can apply on your behalf.

Privacy Notice

The Isle of Wight Council is committed to keeping your personal information safe and processing it in accordance with our obligations under the General Data Protection Regulations and related data protection legislation. The Isle of Wight Council is the data controller for the personal information you provide. For further information please view our Privacy Notice.

Government Policy

As part of the government policy of improving the quality and range of education and childcare from birth to 5 years, the Department for Education have created the Funded Early Education Choice Framework ; to download a copy of the framework, please visit  GOV.UK website .