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Free early education entitlement for two-year-olds

Some eligible two-year-olds can get up to 15 hours of free early education and childcare a week. This is a total of 570 hours per year over 38 weeks per year in term time. Funding would start in the term after the child turns two. 

You may allow parents to use fewer hours per week over a longer period (stretched offer) for example over 52 weeks.

Offering two-year-old funding

Your setting may offer this funding if:

  • it is a nursery or preschool
  • you are a childminder or you are with a childminding agency
  • it is a school or academy

If you are a childminder you cannot use the funding to look after children of your own family. For example you are the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt or uncle.

Criteria for early years and childcare providers

To qualify you must:

Applying for two-year-old funding

Parents should apply online. If successful, they will receive a reference number to give to you if you are their chosen provider.

Some families may need help to apply. If so, you can submit an assisted application for them on the Provider Portal. Read the Provider Portal free entitlement for two year olds user guide (PDF,584KB) for details. You will need the child's address and date of birth. Check the details on the birth certificate. We may ask for proof that you have done this so make a note of the reference number. 

Next steps

Once approved you must: 

Parent / carer agreement forms

This is your contract with the child's parents or carers. They must fill in a new form each term. It explains things like:

  • how parents or carers will take up their entitlement
  • the stretched offer for the term
  • extra charges and fees they may have to pay

From time to time we will ask to see these forms so you will need to keep them in a safe place. 

Payments

We will pay you 50 per cent of your funding at the start of each term. This is based on the data collected near the end of the previous term. We aim to pay you the balance within six weeks of the headcount submissions deadline. 

See details of when to submit headcount data to us.

Term dates 2021 to 2022

You can only claim FEEE for the number of weeks specified between the school term dates. These make up the 38 funded weeks in the 2021 to 2022 financial year.

Term Inclusive term dates Duration of FEEE Equivalent in hours
Summer 2021 12 April 2021 to 21 July 2021  13 weeks 13 weeks x 15 hours = 195 hours
Autumn 2021 1 September 2021 to 17 December 2021 14 weeks 14 weeks x 15 hours = 210 hours
Spring 2022 4 January 2022 to 1 April 2022 11 weeks 11 weeks x 15 hours = 165 hours
Summer 2022 18 April 2022 to 21 July 2022 13 weeks 13 weeks x 15 hours = 195 hours
Autumn 2022 5 September 2022 to 16 December 2022 14 weeks 14 weeks x 15 hours = 210 hours
Spring 2023 9 January 2023 to 31 March 2023 11 weeks 11 weeks x 15 hours = 165 hours

Relevant resources

Please email FEEEQueries@essex.gov.uk for a copy of the FEEE provider handbook.

Contact us

For two-year-olds general enquiries and headcount submissions email twosfunding@essex.gov.uk