Free Entitlement Funding Policy:

This policy applies to the 15 hour entitlement for the most disadvantaged two year olds, the 15 hour entitlement for all three and four-year-olds (universal entitlement) and the 30 hour entitlement for working parents of three and four-year-olds (extended entitlement).

Hopscotch Day Nursery

Hopscotch welcomes children from the local community and other locations. This depends upon the individual needs and travelling arrangements of each family. The nursery operates a waiting list, once a parent has completed our registration form their child is entered onto the waiting list. Bookings are made according to age, circumstances and availability. A non-returnable deposit is taken once a booking is made which is deducted from the first monthly account. All fees are payable monthly on the 1st of each calendar month in advance and payable regardless of attendance. The nursery requires one calendar months notice if you are leaving your nursery place.
Currently four funded places are offered to 2 year olds that meet the eligibility terms. Universal funding is offered to all 3 and 4 years olds once they become eligible (Four term time only places are offered on a first come first served basis). Extended free entitlement is offered only to existing families should they be eligible.


Funding is available either term-time for 38 weeks of the year; or stretched for 52 weeks of the year.  Funded hours are offered throughout the day, dependant on parents requirements and nursery availability.

The DFE considers that the funding term dates are: See table below, this is to allow us to be fully flexible with our term dates.
For the purposes of funding, the Local Authority considers that the numbers of weeks FEF that can be claimed within a term are:

Funding Period    Inclusive funding period dates        Weeks     Equivalent in hours 
Autumn Term1st September to 31st December1414 weeks x 15 hours – 210 hours.    
Spring Term1st January to 31st March1212 weeks x 15 hours – 180 hours
Summer Term1st April to 31st August1212 weeks x 15 hours – 180 hours


Two year old eligibility

2-year-olds can get free early education and childcare if the parent is in receipt of one of the following:
● Income support
● Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
● Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
● Universal Credit
● Tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
● The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
● Support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
● The Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

A child can also get free entitlement funding if any of the following apply:
● They’re looked after by a local authority
● They have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
● They get Disability Living Allowance
● They’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

Families in receipt of the following may also be required to submit their HMRC TC602 form or additional information as proof of being in receipt of the following benefits:
● Universal Credit.
● They receive Working Tax credits and have annual gross earnings of no more than £16,190 per year.
● The child has a current Statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care Plan and they attract Disability Living Allowance.

In the event that the family’s circumstances change resulting in them no longer being eligible, whilst the child is already accessing the free entitlement, he/she child will continue to receive the two year free entitlement funding until the he/she is eligible for 3 year old funding. Any additional hours over the funded hours; meals or other agreed contractual payments are payable monthly on the 1st of each calendar month in advance and are payable regardless of attendance.

Three and four year olds Universal free entitlement

All 3 and 4 year olds become eligible for their universal free entitlement of a total of 570 hours a year of free childcare, from the start of the term after their 3rd birthday. Children receive their universal free entitlement until the end of the term in which the child reaches their fifth birthday. Parents are required to complete a parent declaration form at least once every academic year. Hopscotch Day Nursery retains this form for our records. Any additional hours over the funded hours; meals or other agreed contractual payments are payable monthly on the 1st of each calendar month in advance and are payable regardless of attendance.

If your child is born between:     They are eligible for a free place from:
1st April and 31st August1st September following their 3rd birthday
1st September and 31st December1st January following their 3rd birthday
1st January and 31st March1st April following their 3rd birthday

Extended free entitlement (30 hours)

From September 2017, children from working families are eligible for an additional 570 hours a year free childcare. Working families must meet the eligibility criteria below to claim the extended free entitlement:
● Both parents are working (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family), and;
● each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage and earns less than £100,000 per year.

Parents must confirm their eligibility for the 30 hours on their childcare service account. If eligible, they will receive a 30 hours 11 digit eligibility code.
Further information on all free childcare options available can be found at

Alongside the 30 hours eligibility code, which is the child’s unique 11-digit number and original copies of documentation, Hopscotch Day Nursery must acquire written consent on the parent declaration form, from, or on behalf of, the parent to be able to receive confirmation and future notifications from the local authority of the validity of the parent’s 30 hours eligibility code.

Once Hopscotch Day Nursery has received written consent from the parent, we will then verify the 30 hours eligibility code with the local authority. The local authority will confirm the validity of 30 hours eligibility codes through the Eligibility Checking Service (ECS) to allow us to offer 30 hours places for eligible three- and four-year-olds.

Eligibility is only valid for approximately 3 months.  It is the parents’ responsibility to check if they are still eligible for the 30 hours free childcare.  Parents will be prompted every three months to reconfirm that they remain eligible. If they are no longer eligible for 30 hours, they will enter a grace period and will be able to retain their place for a short period.
If a parent fails to reapply for the extended 15 hours and loses the funding, they will be liable to pay for the additional hours at the current nursery hourly rate, make alternative arrangements or provide one months notice in writing to alter or cancel their place.

Any additional hours over the funded hours; meals or other agreed contractual payments are payable monthly on the 1st of each calendar month in advance and are payable regardless of attendance. If you have any questions about the meals offered at Hopscotch then please speak to Marie or Kim for further details.

Absent Children

If children go on holiday for a maximum of 2 weeks, they are still entitled to keep their funding.
If however, a child is taken out of the nursery for longer than 2 weeks, they will be removed from our funding roll. They will remain on our setting’s roll and parents will be charged, either the full costs or a retainer fee, but they will lose their funding entitlement. The only exception to this is children who have serious medical conditions or there are safeguarding issues.