If you are a parent or guardian of a child aged three or four years, you can receive 570 hours of government-funded childcare or early education each year. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply.
If you are a parent or guardian of a child aged three or four years, you can receive 570 hours of government funded childcare or early education each year. This is usually taken as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks.
Some children are also entitled to an extra 15 hours a week, making 30 hours free childcare a week in total.
The exact date you can receive free childcare for your child depends on which term they turn three years old. The table below shows the term dates and when you can claim free childcare.
You can use your free childcare in any Ofsted Registered childcare provider that offer the funded places.
For more information about childcare providers in your area you can browse the FISH Directory where you can search for childcare providers in your area:
FISH directory search (council website)
Parents may be able to use their free early education across the entire year, this is called the 'Stretched Offer'
The annual Free early education entitlement per child starts from the Autumn Term (so should be calculated from 1 September to 31 August).
The stretched offer is for children who take up their funded entitlement and want to spread their free hours across more of the year. The ‘Stretched Offer’ is not to be confused with spreading a parent’s bill over 12 equal monthly payments, as the ‘Stretched Offer’ relates only to Free early education, not to any hours paid for.
Parents should discuss the hours they would like to take with their childcare provider as not all providers offer the ‘Stretched Offer’
*Some of the stretched offer models mean the child will not be able to access the full funded entitlement across the year. Parents must be made aware before they agree to a stretched offer that they will not receive their full entitlement, using some of the models above they may lose up to 3 minutes per termly week of their full entitlement.
Some providers may charge for meals, snacks or optional extras as these may not always be included within the funded entitlement. If you take more than your free early education hours there will be a charge from the provider for these additional hours. Please check with your provider for full details of any additional charges.
Early years pupil premium (EYPP) is extra funding paid to childcare providers to improve the development, learning and care for disadvantaged children aged 3 or 4 years old.
Your child can receive early years pupil premium if they are aged 3 or 4 years old and you, as their parent or guardian, are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
A child can also receive early years pupil premium funding if:
In the first instance, it is usually best if you discuss your concerns with your childcare provider or the person in charge. If you are a parent or carer and cannot resolve your concern through discussion, you can make a formal complaint to the provider. All providers should have a complaints procedure in place that is published and accessible for parents, who are not satisfied their child has received their free entitlement in the correct way, as set out in the 'East Riding of Yorkshire Council Provider Agreement for free early education and childcare for two-three and four-year-olds'.
For a summary of the terms of the agreement please see section 5 of the Parental Agreement, which your childcare provider should have asked you to complete:
Parental Agreement (pdf 60kb opens in new window)
If you are unable to resolve your concern directly with the provider, you can follow the Council's complaints procedure. Childcare providers should make parents aware that they can take their complaint to the council.
If you wish to take your complaint to the council you should contact the Families' Information Service Hub (FISH) on (01482) 396469 to give the details of your complaint. The complaint will then be passed onto an officer in the Early Years Service.
The officer will contact both yourself and the childcare provider within 10 working days to gather full details and any documentary evidence that may be required, (such as copies of invoices or the signed parental agreement and declaration form).
The council will reply in writing to both the parent and childcare provider, no later than 10 working days after gathering all relevant information, setting out their assessment of the situation and stating whether the actions of the provider are in accordance with the provider agreement.
If you are not satisfied with the way in which your complaint has been dealt with by the Local Authority or believe the Local Authority has acted unreasonably, you can make a complaint to the Local Authority Ombudsman. These complaints will only be considered when the local complaints procedure has been exhausted.