Free Early Years Education

All children become eligible for Free Early Years Education the term after their third birthday. Some 2 year olds may also be eligible for funding through a different scheme called FreeFor2 (conditions apply).

A child is eligible for Free Early Years Education at the start of the term after their third birthday in line with the Department of Education Statutory Guidance

An eligible child born between: Will be able to take their free early education entitlement from:
1 April – 31 August (inclusive) The start of Term 1 following their third birthday (after Summer holidays)
1 Sept – 31 Dec (inclusive)  The start of Term 3 following their third birthday (after Christmas/New Year)
1 Jan – 31 Mar (inclusive) The start of Term 5 following their third birthday (after April holiday)



Your child is able to access their Free Early Education to a maximum of 15 hours per week. This is over 38 weeks of the term, currently in line with KCC school term dates. Proof of your child’s date of birth will be required with sight of either a birth certificate or the red book.

Your child is entitled to 570 hours of Free Early Education over 38 weeks per year.  However, depending on which days your child attends this may not be possible, due to bank holidays and staff development days.  We will inform you if this is the case and offer alternative hours.

Equally, it may be that the days attended by your child may exceed the 570 hours, if this is the case, we will inform you and these sessions can either be charged or relinquished.

Children are also able to attend sessions, charged at our normal 3 year old rate of £18.00 per session over and above their Free Early Education entitlement and these will be invoiced for in the usual manner.

Free Early Education can be split between a maximum of 2 providers up to the 15 hours per week (or 30 hours if eligible).

30 hours of Free Early Education may be available – please see separate pages – this is subject to separate eligibility criteria.   Further information is available at .  We are only able to offer up to a maximum of 27 hours of the extended entitlement.

Do you qualify for 30 hours of Free Early Education Funding?

Signing up for 30 Hours of Free Early Education Funding

FAQ about 30 hours of Free Early Education Funding

Tax Free Childcare