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  3. Early years foundation stage (EYFS)
  4. Early years education entitlement (EYEE) expansion-overview

Early years education entitlement (EYEE) expansion-overview

In March 2023, the Government announced plans for reforms to childcare. This aims to support parents to return and stay in work. This change will be transformative for parents, children and the economy. 

The 30 hours childcare offer will be extended so that more parents and children will benefit. By September 2025, eligible parents in England will be able to access 30 hours of free childcare per week. This will be for 38 weeks per year, from the term after their child is 9 months old, to when they start school. 

Timeline for expansion of entitlements
Key dates
From April 2024 Eligible working parents of 2 year olds will be able to access 15 hours of support
From September 2024 Eligible working parents of children aged 9 months plus will be able to access 15 hours of support
From September 2025 Eligible working parents of children under the age of 5 will be entitled to 30 hours of support per week

These hours can be used over 38 weeks of the year (during term time), or up to 52 weeks if the provider is open for longer. 

Families receiving 2 year old funding because they receive additional government support, will continue to be funded.  

Changes to statutory guidance

The DfE published updated Statutory Guidance on 1 January 2024.  Charges against funded hours cannot include a providers general running costs. Additional guidance for providers on the publication of any consumable fees charged to parents has been updated. This enables parents to make an informed choice of provider. We will update our guidance to reflect the updates within national statutory guidance.

Collection of data

We are changing the way we collect the information for the number of non-funded 0 to 2 year olds in East Sussex settings.

We have removed this information from the sufficiency update form. We will ask settings to complete and return a standalone spreadsheet. This will form part of the spring 2024 headcount required data collection. Settings who do not have any non-funded children will be required to send back a nil return. 

This will help to determine if there are enough childcare spaces to meet demand. The roll out of the new entitlements begins in April 2024 and we will use this information to help identify potential shortfalls. This data will also ensure funding received from central government is distributed appropriately. Further details will follow in the spring 2024 headcount email.

Provider meetings

The Early Years Funding Team will be holding meetings with providers regarding the new funding reforms. These face to face meetings will be held in Eastbourne, Hastings and Uckfield in early 2024.  Meetings can now be booked through the Learning Portal

Expanded entitlement codes

To enable providers to check validity parents will need to provide:

  • an eleven digit entitlement code
  • their child's date of birth
  • their national insurance number

This is the same process as for the 30 hours for eligible 3 and 4-year-olds. Families must apply for and receive the 11-digit code by 31st March 2024 to be eligible from April.

Providers should be aware that if parents apply for their code at the beginning of January, they may need to re-confirm before 31st March.  Wherever possible, please remind families to look out for reminders from HMRC to avoid losing out on this funding in April.

For further information you can refer families to Childcare Choices

Validating entitlement codes

We have confirmed that providers will be able to use the stand-alone eligibility checker on the provider portal to check validity of the codes from January 2024.

We are waiting for further updates from our software supplier to enable the claims to be made from April.