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As you all know I have been in my new job for 3 weeks now. As yet, I still haven't been introduced to how the funding system works! I was wondering if someone could explain to me how it works, so that I won't look (or feel) really silly in front of my boss?


Until this job, I was only a NN is a day nursery so funding wasn't something that I was actively involved in.


I do know that the children in our pre-school get universal funding when they turn 3 ( :o ). I would be grateful to anyone who can explain it to me!!


Thanks, Clare

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Hi Clare,

I can explain to you how it is done in Bedfordshire.

Funding begins the term after a child is 3. It has 3 cut off dates - 31st March, 31st August, 31st December. So if a child is 3 mid spring term (b4 31st March) they will not be funded until the summer term etc

They are then eligable to access 5 sessions( i believe wherever possible). You are sent from your county council (CC), funding forms for 3yrs and 4yrs and an funding application form. The forms must be then completed and given back to you. You must photocopy all the forms and send the originals along with the main funding application form back to CC. The CC then put money in you account.

You only receive funding money for the children that are on your register on the headcount day.

Any funded children that start with you after that day are still eligable for free education but you will not receive funding for them until the following term.

I Know that this information varies form county to county.

The best thing to do is to phone your early years dept of your county council or your childcare development worker, who can offer you info.

Hope this makes some sense, but all forms are self explanatory.


Net x


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As Net has explained each area has different rules and regulations on funding, and different forms. The cut off dates are usually standard to all areas.


we have 1 parent declaration form- all parents with children registered on headcount day have to complete and sign the form (ours are in triplicate one for parent one for us and one for the council) we have not had seperate forms for 3 & 4 year olds for a year now.

Then there is the funding application form- ours is pre printed (others have to fill it in manually) with the names of those eligable last term and we delete those we no longer claim for and add others at the bottom, this has to be signed on headcount day.

parents claim for 2.5 hrs each session for up to 5 sessions a week.

before this at the end of the period we have to complete a interim payment form, declaring how many children we expect next claim, and we recieve 2/3rds of the estimated funding money in the first week of term. the rest comes at the end and is final payment from completed forms.


From this term we are able to send forms mid term for any child joining us after headcount to make a claim as well as for children wishing to increase sessions mid term. we also have to return funds for children leaving mid term. This is not usually the case in other areas but has come from parent complaints and settings also about the lack of flexibility in the previous system. as it is new we wait to see how well this works in practice.

In the past we had to wait until the following term to claim funding for newcomers and were not allowed to charge, but we kept money from leaving children.


From April this year they are eligable for funding up to 38 weeks a year- again areas vary we can set our own dates but they encourage 38 weeks. others have to use term dates set by councils and some can only claim for 38 weeks - we are not allowed any staff training or development days on funded sessions and if we have a closure day like May day we have to open that day at the end of term to make up the session.


lots of other rules but each area is different.



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I think you would be wise to ask your CC, each area is different. There is also information on the Councils website about funding. I am from Essex and prior to headcount day I have to fill in an ANT 1 form (anticiaption of numbers) . I just have to get parents to sign their fUnding form on for 3 and 4 year olds and I keep the form on file. I must be asked to produce the forms at any time.

We can claim for children joining us midterm who have not previously claimed the funding but not for children already with us wanting more days , so you see everywhere is very different.


I am sure your boss would not think you are silly and neither would you look slly if you asked how it is done in your setting.


Setting all have there own way of doing things.




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I agree that you should ring your early years team at County council and ask them for a definitive answer. In my experience they are really friendly and helpful as they would rather you got your end of the paperwork right and made their life simpler! In our county we have recently had to sign a formal agreement to continue to obtain our funding and to comply with the stated policy and guidelines of our EYDCP e.g. deliver 38 weeks per year. You may well need to do the same.

If you get nowhere come back and ask the forum again! We're here to help and share our experience!

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I don't think any decent boss would think you were silly for asking. I'd far rather people asked than plodded on in ignorance. Also asking questions shows a keenness to get to grips with things, surely?

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I agree with what others have said, differences in different area and definately ask the boss. I would think that your boss has already received correspondence from your local EYDCP ( or in Kent the department dealing with funding is called the E.Y. management Information service).

Ask your boss to see any correspondence relating to the Summer Term funding, this will also give you advisor contact names and numbers for your area. He/she should also have received a copy of the "Code of Practice on the provision of free Nursery Education places for three and four year olds" Surestart guidance publication.


you can get a copy by phoning 0845 60 222 60 or download from HERE


In my area if time limits for producing forms are not met then providers can lose funding, so your boss will welcome your questions.





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