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3 & 4 Year Old Funded Education Grant

3 & 4 Year Old Funding

Free early learning places for 3 and 4 year olds

All three and four year olds are entitled to up to 15 hours of free early education a week term time until they either go into reception or reach compulsory school age (the term following their fifth birthday) and London Borough of Redbridge where our nursery operates is committed to providing a free part-time early education place for all three year olds from the term after their third birthday.

An early education place can be in a pre-school or playgroup; a day nursery; with a childminder or an independent school where they offer the free entitlement (please note that not all settings provide the free entitlement).

Barley Lane Montessori Day Nursery provides free part time education place for all three year olds from the term after their third birthday.

We offer either 3 morning sessions (8 am to 1 pm) or 3 afternoon sessions (1 pm to 6 pm) which amounts to 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year term time only.

Alternately we can offer one full day session (8 am to 6pm) and one half day session either morning or evening which amounts to 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year term time only.

Note: Our offer of a free funded place is made only if we have a space and for the days/sessions available. Any extra sessions must be paid for.


The benefits of an Early Education for your child

• Early Education gives children the chance to learn, play and make new friends. 
• Early Education gives children some preparation for starting school. 
• You can arrange childcare to fit around your personal needs.


When is my child eligible?

The following dates show which term your child is eligible for Free Early Education Entitlement. Please be aware that these dates are determined by central government and are in line with dates for School Admissions, and as such exceptions to this cannot be made. For example a child that turns three on 1st April would not be eligible for funding until the autumn term (from 1st September).

Born between 1st January to 31st March Summer Term (April to August)
Born between 1st April to 31st August Autumn Term (September to December)
Born between 1st September to 31st December     Spring term (January to April)


What your child’s early learning place will offer

The early learning place provides up to 15 hours a week of free early education, usually over 38 weeks per year. This is the equivalent of up to 570 hours per year.

For any child accessing the free early learning place there is a parent agreement that you would need to sign confirming you are happy with the offer for your child.

When you access any unfunded hours or additional services it would be clearly explained to you and a contract will be put in place that clearly states the agreement.


Accessing more than 15 hours per week or additional services

If you work or have other commitments that mean your child needs to attend the nursery for more than 15 hours per week (or 570 hours per year) then you have the option to pay for additional hours. We offer full day care for 50 weeks of the year.


How to claim your child’s early learning place

Once you have secured a funded place with us, you will need to sign an agreement. This is known as the Parent Declaration Form and you will be required to sign your agreement for each term that your child accesses an early learning place.

Each term there is a ‘headcount date’. All children must be accessing their free early learning place by this date in order to receive the entitlement for that term. You can view the upcoming headcount dates below. If you have missed the deadline please discuss your child’s place with the nursery manager at the earliest opportunity. You will most likely need to wait until the following term to access a free early learning place:

• Spring term 2014 – 16th January 2014 
• Summer term 2014 - 15th May 2014
• Autumn term 2014 - 2nd October 2014
• Spring term 2014 - 15th January 2014


When you sign the Free Early Education Entitlement agreement (known as the Parent Declaration Form) you are making a commitment that your child will be accessing their early learning place at the stated setting for that term. Signing of the declaration confirms that your child will not be claiming more than the 15 hours of free early education that he or she is entitled to.

If you commit to a place in a setting but then move your child prior to the headcount date then your original setting is unable to claim for your child’s attendance during those first weeks. You may be liable for any hours your child has received from the start of the term to when your child moves to the new setting.

The setting that your child is attending on the terms headcount date (shown above) is the setting that will be able to offer the Free Early Education Entitlement to your child(ren).

Additional Information:

Within the London Borough of Redbridge parents/carers are currently unable to access a place after the headcount dates shown. London Borough of Redbridge is seeking to implement a ‘late claims’ policy as soon as authority for this is sanctioned. This will benefit children that have moved into the borough after headcount date or who have not already accessed a place for the current term.

If you choose to access the free early education within two separate settings you will need to advise both settings, come to an agreement over how many hours each setting will claim on behalf of your child and will ensure this is detailed on the Parent Declaration Form prior to you signing the agreement.

Even if you wish or do not wish to access additional services or hours you will still need to complete a Parent Declaration Form along with a Nursery Registration Form.

Additional services can include webcam services, cooked lunch or additional classes such as learning an additional language, music lessons or a dance class. A childcare provider is entitled to charge for these services.


If you are only accessing the free early learning place then you do not need to pay for the additional services.