Free Early Education Entitlement for Two, Three and Four Year Olds

A Guide for Parents

 What is the Free Education Entitlement Funding?

FEEE has been introduced by the Government to provide a free early education place (at least part-time) for all 3 year olds and all 4 year olds. If you have a 3 or 4 year old child you will be eligible for this.

How much is the Funding?

Each 3 and 4 year old is entitled to 15 hours Early Education. At Little Darwins we offer both full day care  (7am - 7pm) and sessional care (9am - 3pm) If your child attends a full time place the Funding entitlement will be applied on the invoice. The funding can be shared between two different settings as long as the total is 15 hours per week.

The funding is paid over the school year which is divided into three terms because the funding is for nursery education available during school terms only. Payment therefore does not cover what would be normal school holidays.  However Little Darwins will stretch your funding over 51 weeks (i.e. 15 hours term time becomes 11 hours per week if all year round)


Parents/ Carers need to present their child’s birth certificate to the provider, i.e. Little Darwins Nursery to confirm their eligibility for the FEEE. Essex County Council may ask to see evidence that the provider has checked birth certificates therefore providers are recommended to make a note of the number to confirm that this has been seen.


Which children are eligible for funding?

The funding will be available for all children from the start of the term following their third birthday until they start in a reception class.

A child aged three by:

    * 31 March will be eligible for funding in the Summer Term    

    * 31 August will be eligible for funding in the Autumn Term    

    * 31 December will be eligible for funding in the Spring Term

Children will still be eligible if they join in the middle of the term and we can apply for funding.


The nursery has funding for 38 weeks per year. Full details of our term dates can be viewed under Information


2 Year Old Funding

At Little Darwins Nursery we are able to offer 2 Year old Funding.

If you believe you may be eligible please do not hesitate to speak to the Manager or the Office.  If you are in receipt of one of the following you may be eligible for 15 hours FREE funding for your two year old.

• Income Support • Income based Job Seekers Allowance • Child and Family Tax Credits at the higher rate than the family element • Extra Working Tax Credits relating to Disability or Pension Credits Other possible eligibility.


You must make an application on the Essex County Council website - follow the link  Essex County Council




Nursery will be closed to children who are fully funded on these days i.e. 9am-3pm, morning or afternoon session.  However, if you are funded for only part of any of the training days then your child can attend nursery as usual. 


If you are not sure, please speak to the office.


Extract from ECC FEEE Handbook

Training Days

Early years childcare providers can claim FEEE for up to 1 day per term when they are open in order to carry out staff training.  The provider should make parents aware before they sign the parent/carer agreement that they will lose a day of FEEE per term and will not receive any refund for this day as there is no cash value to the FEEE funding.  Providers should also give a minimum of a half term's notice of any planned closures.


Guide to help with Childcare Costs


The Government supports parents with childcare costs in various way ranging from tax free childcare and free hours in a childcare setting for 2-, 3- and 4-year olds, to tax credits and universal credits or help while you study.  The following link to the Government’s Childcare Choices page has all the details and links for making claims: