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Early Years Funding

Like preschools and nurseries, we have places available for children who would like to access their “free hours” of childcare – their Early Years Entitlement.


Somerset County Council will fund part-time early years entitlement places for three and four year olds starting from the funding period after the child's third birthday. This is called the universal entitlement. Two year olds who meet the eligibility criteria can also access funding.

From September 2017, some working parents will be entitled to an extra 15 hours per week early education and childcare for their 3 and 4 year old child on top of the current offer. This is called the extended entitlement.

You can claim the early years entitlement at:

  • an approved childminder (We are an ‘approved childminder’!)
  • a day nursery
  • a pre-school or playgroup
  • an independent school
  • a children's centre nursery
  • a maintained nursery
  • a reception class in a primary or infant school
  • a foundation stage unit and academy

These are known as providers and all providers are under a duty to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. The providers must be registered and inspected by Ofsted or the Independent Schools Inspectorate and be able to offer a minimum of 38 weeks in a year. The provider must be registered with us to offer the early years entitlement.

The early years entitlement gives your child a maximum of 570 hours each year. This will start the funding period after your child's third birthday and will last for 3 funding periods (equivalent to one year). The maximum entitlement that can be claimed is 15 hours per week.

For more information please see http://www.somerset.gov.uk/childrens-services/early-years-for-families/early-years-entitlement-information-for-families/

“The childminder and her assistant are excellent role models who respect each child's individuality.” Ofsted Inspection Report, Nov 2016

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