Delivering funded early years education and childcare

What are funded places?

  • All parents and carers of 3 and 4 year old children are able to claim up to 570 hours a year (split over 3 funding blocks) of early years education and childcare, also known as Universal Childcare
  • Some parents may also be eligible to claim up to an additional 570 hours a year (split over 3 funding blocks) of funded early years education and childcare (known as 30 hours)
  • Some parents of 2 year old children may also be eligible to claim up to 570 hours a year (split over 3 funding blocks) of early years education and childcare

Please choose one of the following options to find out about early years funding.

For information on headcount dates and the dates that forms will be open, please see the following document:

Following the monthly payment of headcount claims, a detailed report will be sent to providers to give a full breakdown of payments and all early years supplements received. Find these reports in the following document:

Provider Agreement

To keep receiving early years funding all funded providers must read and accept the 'Provider Agreement'

Please use our online form to accept the Provider Agreement.

Provider Agreement

Compliance Review

The Early Education and Childcare (EEC) Funding Compliance Review is directly linked to the provider agreement which all providers must sign in order to receive funding. The two documents aim to ensure that both the Local Authority (LA) and EEC providers are meeting the expectations regarding delivering funded childcare places..

You can use our online form to:

Register to deliver funded childcare (you do not have to re-register to deliver 30 hours)

We require 1 full month's notice to complete registration. All registrations commence at the beginning of a month.

For example, if a provider wants to register by 1 May then the online form must be completed by 31 March.

Update you​r bank details

New requests to update bank details will be processed between the 1st and 11th of the month to allow changes to be processed ready for payment on the 25th of the month. Any request to update bank details after the 11th will not be processed until the following month.

Register to deliver funded places or update bank account details

Registered providers can make their headcount claims using the provider portal.

Sign in to the Provider Portal

Sign in to the:

Providers that do not submit a claim for Early Education and Childcare funding for a period of three consecutive funding blocks or more will be required to re-register to deliver funded hours.

Monthly payment report

Following the monthly payment of headcount claims, a detailed payment report will be sent to providers to give a full breakdown of payments and all early years supplements received. A guidance document for these reports can be found below:

Other information regarding funding claims will be made available in the early years bulletin.

Guidance on using the Provider Portal

Please use the below guidance documents for information on how to use the provider portal:

Training on the Provider Portal

Portal training is available. Please see the early years bulletin for scheduled dates.

​OptionsHours per week​Summer weeks (approx)​Summer hours​Autumn weeks (approx)​Autumn hours​Spring weeks (approx)​Spring hours​Total hours​
​38 weeks term-time only​1513​195​14​210​11​165​570​
​48 weeks​1219.5​​234​15.5186​​12.5​150​570
​51 weeks​11​22​242​16.8​185​13​143​570
​52 weeks​10.9​22​23817.6​​192​12.8​140​570

The Parental Contract acts as the contract between the family and the provider of the funded early years education and childcare.

If you require assistance regarding the Parental Contract, please contact us at:

  • Parental contract (Word 74KB)​​​
  • The privacy notices for North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council are available on the resepctive unitary websites:
  • The privacy notice must be viewed by the parent or ​carer before they sign the Parental Contract.
  • Parents or carers with legal responsibility for the child must complete this Parental Contract before their child takes up a funded place.
  • Parents or carers must advise settings within the Parental Contract of any funded hours claimed with a different provider.
  • The contract must be re-signed by the parent or carer at the beginning of each funding block to ensure the information is correct.
  • Providers must make parents aware of all additional charges at the point of registration.

2 year old funding rate for 2021 to 2022

The early education and childcare for 2 year olds funding rate has been finalised for the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year and has been set at £5.23 per hour.

3 or 4 year old funding rate for 2021 to 2022

The funding for Northamptonshire's childcare providers delivering the early years education and childcare universal entitlement and the extended 30 hours for 3 and 4 year old children is determined by the local Early Years Single Funding Formula (EYSFF).

April 2021 to March 2022

Factor Rate if qualify ​Indicator
​3/4 year old base rate *​£4.05​Per hour claimed
​Pupil Premium Grant (EYPP)​£0.53​Per hour - eligible child
​Deprivation supplement​£0.28Per Child Per Hour Claimed - Residing in
Area of Deprivation based on less than 30%
Super Output Area (SOA)
2020 to 2021 calculated based on January
2020 EY census return and paid termly
(3x per year)
​Disability Access Funding (DAF)​£615​Annual lump sum per child based on
national eligibility criteria of Disability
Living Allowance
​2 Year Old Funding Rate​£5.23​Per Hour Claimed


Includes 8p per hour on each child accessing the universal or extended funding for each setting to use as initial SEND inclusion funding for the identified children within the cohort. Each setting is responsible for keeping accurate records as this will be monitored to ensure this is used to support the work needed for those children needing additional support. This will also be used to assess any additional Short Term Premium Inclusion or High needs funding requests.

​Deprivation is a key target area for the government, with an aim of narrowing the gap between children from different backgrounds. Northamptonshire pays a deprivation supplement of £0.28 per hour to all 3 and 4 year old pupils living in an SOA ranked amongst the 30% most deprived nationally.

Monthly checks will be run using the postcodes recorded against pupils, and if a pupil is found to be eligible we will pay the supplement from that point on. Providers can check the eligibility of their pupils for the deprivation supplement by using the following document:

Any family with a child attending a childcare setting in Northamptonshire can use the Online Eligibility Checker to find out if they are eligible for 2 year old funding. 

The Online Eligibility Checker issues a reference number (beginning with EC) for all checks made, including those that are not eligible. The child's parent or carer will pass their eligible reference number onto their provider. 

How do I check the validity of the reference number?

To check the reference number obtained by a parent or carer use the checking tool below.

Eligibility checker tool

It is extremely important that you check that the reference number is:

  • a reference number confirming eligibility for funding
  • still valid - that the reference number hasn't expired

If a place is offered to a family and the reference number is not eligible, no claim for funding can be made and no funding claim will be paid.

The reference number is active for 6 weeks. A parent or carer must have it checked within 6 weeks of issue by a childcare provider and reserve a place even if the child cannot start immediately; the childcare provider will keep the reference number.

If no place is found or reserved within 6 weeks the number will expire and the parent must obtain a new reference number by using checker again.

Please note that funding can only be offered from the date you receive the reference number.

​30 hours early years education and childcare is available to all eligible 3 and 4 year olds whose family earn between £8,000 and £100,000. Parents and carers need to check eligibility for their funded place every 3 months, before the following dates:

  • 31 March
  • 31 August
  • 31 December

Parent's responsibility

It is the parent’s responsibility to check their eligibility for a 30 hours childcare place using the HMRC Childcare Choices website.

Eligibility must be re-confirmed every 3 months, before the end date is reached.

A parent or carer must have completed the eligibility check or re-confirmation of eligibility before the above dates. Any check made after this time will not be eligible until the next funding block.

Provider's responsibility

It is the responsibility of the early years provider to remind parents and carers to re-confirm their eligibility. Early years providers can use the expiration dashboard on the provider portal to supply parents and carers with information regarding start and end dates of eligibility.

Providers must ensure they have seen and validated a 30 hours code before a funded place commences. Any check made after this time will not be eligible until the next funding block.

NCC cannot offer any discretionary funded places under any circumstances.

​We have developed an online form specifically for 30 hours eligible children of foster carers.

How does a foster carer apply for the funding?

  • The foster parent will speak with the child's social worker to determine their eligibility.
  • The foster parent will then complete the online eligibility form.
  • If eligible, they will be given an eligibility code (starting with 400). This confirmation code should be accepted by the provider in the same way as the standard 30 hours codes (starting with 500).

Eligibility will need to be confirmed every 3 months. This will be carried out manually by the local authority.

What happens when a child at your setting leaves their foster carer?

  • When a child leaves their foster carer, the 30 hours code can be used in the current setting that the child attends for up to four weeks.
  • The  code cannot be used all the way to the end of the grace period.
  • A claim with new early years provider cannot be made using the 30 hours foster code during this time and a new 30 hour code will have to be applied for through HMRC by the parents or carers of the child.

​The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is designed to support children with disabilities or Special Educational Needs (SEN).

The DAF aids access to early years places by, for example, supporting early years education and childcare providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings (be that for the child in question or for the benefit of all children who attend the setting).

Providers who have funded entitlement children who are eligible for the DAF will be entitled to receive a single, one off payment.

Children do not have to take up the full 570 hours of funded entitlement they are entitled to in order to receive the DAF.

Who is eligible for Disability Access Fund?

3 and 4 year olds will be eligible for the DAF if they meets both of the criteria:

  • the child is in receipt of child Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • the child attends an early years education and childcare provider for the universal entitlement.

Any 4 year old children in reception year are not eligible for DAF funding.

How do I identify eligible children?

Childcare providers are responsible for identifying children who are eligible for the DAF. Parents/carers of children qualifying for Disability Living Allowance are required to provide documented evidence of this allowance.

How do I claim the DAF funding?

In order for childcare providers to make a claim for DAF funding, evidence of the child’s Disability Allowance will need to be sent into the early years funding team.

How will I receive DAF funding for my setting?

  • NCC will fund all registered early years and childcare providers providing a place for each child eligible for the DAF in their area at the fixed annual rate per eligible child.
  • The DAF will not be offset against any other funding, e.g. High Needs Funding.
  • The DAF is payable as a lump sum once a year per eligible child. If a child eligible for the DAF is splitting their Funded Entitlement across two childcare providers, the parent/carer will need to nominate the main childcare provider who will receive the DAF funding.
  • If a child receiving the DAF moves from one childcare provider to another within a financial year, the new childcare provider is not eligible to receive the DAF funding for this child within the same financial year. DAF funding received by the original setting will not be recouped.
  • Where a child lives in one authority area but attends a childcare provider in a different local authority, the childcare provider’s local authority is responsible for funding the DAF for the child and eligibility checking.
  • All childcare providers who are eligible to receive funding for the Funded Entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds are eligible to receive the DAF for any eligible children.

The Early Years Pupil Premium is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low-income families and their peers by improving the facilities, equipment and learning experiences to benefit the growth and development of eligible children.

All children aged 3 and 4 who meet the eligibility criteria will benefit from the funding. It will be paid to early years providers on an hourly rate basis, linked to claimed hours for eligible children.

Any provider registered to offer funded early years places will receive the EYPP if they have entitled children. All parents will be asked to supply details to allow a check to be run by the local authority, eligible parents will trigger a payment direct to the childcare setting.

Eligibility is updated on a monthly basis in case parent circumstances change. The children are funded from that point on if they do become eligible.

Maintained school settings with a base on Capita One cannot have parent details collected in the same way and so funding have an online form that allows the school bursar to submit the children’s parent details. The parental information is then checked for financial eligibility in the same way detailed above.

Eligibility criteria

Parents can apply for early years pupil premium if they are aged 3 or 4 and get 15 hours funded childcare.

They must also receive at least one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit run-on, which is paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - their household income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax not including any benefits they get

They may also get the EYPP if their child is currently being looked after by a local authority in England or Wales or if their child has left care through:

  • adoption
  • special guardianship order
  • a child arrangements order

To apply for EYPP for the above three points please email confirming they are or they were previously an LAC and you wish to claim the EYPP funding.

​Please note, all aspects of early education and childcare funding will be subject to scrutiny and audits by Northamptonshire County Council on a regular basis.

High needs funding

High needs funding is intended to provide the most appropriate support package for children with special educational needs and disabilities in a range of settings.

Statutory guidance - early years and childcare

NCC is bound by the statutory guidance. These guidelines are issued to all local authorities by the Department for Education (DfE) on the delivery of the funded early years and education childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

Operational guidance

SEND Code of Practice

Local authorities must ensure they meet their duties under the Equality Act 2010 and take account of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 0 to 25 when securing funded places.