Provider Information on Early Years Funding for 2, 3 and 4 Year Olds

For more detailed information on Early Years Funding please refer to: 2023-24 Provider Agreement and the 2023-24 Further Information booklet.

If you wish to register your school or childcare provision to receive Early Years Funding for 2, 3 or 4 Year Olds please download: Registering for funded places

Early Years Funding Process: The Early Years Funding Portal for Nottingham City providers registered to offer funded places opens once per term for claims. Providers will receive an automated email with your personal link to the portal


  • See the PVI Providers Guidance for more information on the portal and claiming.
  • Or see the Schools and Academies Provider Guidance.
  • Providers who have made a claim will receive a confirmation report on the portal, any adjustments to claims after the confirmation report stage can only be made via the Claims Adjustment Form. Adjustment forms are looked at towards the end of term and will not be included in main payments.
  • Payments are made monthly (except for August) based on estimated and actual claims.

As part of the Spring Budget 2023, the government announced an uplift in the existing base rate for the free early years entitlements from 1st September 2023 to 31st March 2024.

This funding has been passed on in full to providers and the current hourly rates for Nottingham City, from 1st September 2023, are:

  • Disadvantaged Entitlement for 2 Year Olds - £7.46 per hour
  • Universal and Extended Entitlement for 3 & 4 Year Olds - £5.01 (£6.11 for settings who receive deprivation £1.00 and flexibility £0.10 supplements – please refer to the Provider Agreement for eligibility of these supplements)

Furthermore, in line with national increases, for eligible children;

  • The hourly rate for EYPP has increased from 62p to 66p 
  • The annual allocation for DAF has been increased by £30.92 and will be added to the existing £828 yearly allocation

DAF payments will be made as a separate allocation but the increased payments for 2, 3 and 4 year olds and EYPP will be automatically added to existing local processes for paying early years entitlements funding so will be reflected in Autumn Term 2023 Estimate Payments onwards. 

As per current practice, and as stated in the Provider Agreement, providers are reminded that the monthly estimate payments are Government funding and not the provider’s money until the terms funding is reconciled with the actual hours the child has received.  Any estimate payments made over and above the actual entitlement must be repaid to the LA as requested. 

Local authority hourly funding rates for April 2024 - March 2025 were published late November 2023. 

The Department for Education have published this 'Easy Explainer: Early Years Funding Rates' document to explain how these rates have been calculated and the processes that these hourly rates now need to go through to reach an agreed local funding formulae and provider hourly rates for Nottingham City. 

Now the consultation on the local early years funding formula for 2024/25 is complete, these results will be analysed and we will then share the 2024/25 hourly rates with providers at the Business Meetings during the Spring Term.

In addition to the universal 15 hours that all 3 and 4 year olds receive, the Government also offers up to 30 hours per week (over 38 weeks a year) for working parents, with the aim of helping families by reducing the costs of childcare and supporting parents to work.

Information for parents is available at

The key messages for providers in managing the 30 hours offer with parents are as follows:

  • Direct parents to the Childcare Choices website for more information about what offers might be best for them and how to apply
  • Encourage parents to apply well in advance of deadlines, the term before their child turns 3 and to bring their code in as soon as they receive it
  • Verify parents codes as quickly as possible and remind parents they can’t take up a place until the code has been verified
  • A child is only entitled to start their 30 hours place the term following the child’s 3rd birthday or the term following receipt of a valid 30 hours eligibility code, whichever is later
  • Don’t sign an agreement with parents until you have verified both the age of the child and the validity of the code
  • If parents don’t receive a code before the deadline they need to wait until the following term to access their place
  • The ‘validity start date’ is the date on which the parent has been made eligible by HMRC and issued with a code
  • Every 3 months, parents will need to reconfirm that the details they entered on their application are still accurate, to check they are still eligible
  • Parents will need to reconfirm regardless of whether their child has started their 30 hour place
  • The ‘validity end date’ is the parents ‘deadline’ for confirming and the date their code becomes invalid if they do not reconfirm or are found ineligible
  • If parents miss the reconfirmation deadline or their circumstances change, they will receive an email telling them their eligibility has lapsed. Although no longer eligible, if the child is already in a 30 hours place they will be able to retain it for their grace period
  • The ‘grace period’ is the last date on which the parent should receive their 30 hours place after falling out of eligibility
  • Remember to notify parents in good time if they have fallen out of eligibility and what this means in relation to their place with you (such as reducing to universal hours only, leaving the provision or paying for these hours instead)
  • Children should not start a new 30 hours place at a provider during the grace period. This includes the following scenarios;
    • Where a parent falls into their grace period before the child has started a 30 hours place
    • Where a parent falls into their grace period whilst their child is in a 30 hours place, and the parents seeks to move the child to a different provider
  •  If you’re not delivering the full 30 hours yourself, you need to be mindful that the 15 hours you are offering could be part of an eligible parents 30 hour entitlement that they may be splitting with another provider. 
  • The current Provider Agreement, incorporating the Local Code of Practice, is the document that all providers delivering the free entitlements will need to adhere to. This brings together the Statutory and Operational Guidance, national model agreement and local practices. 


This ‘Information for Schools covers eligibility criteria, how parents apply, how schools can check eligibility codes, how parents can access a place and what happens if a parents circumstances change. 

The Additional Information on 30 Hours page of the website may also be of use and a sample Parent Declaration Form for 30 Hours can be found in the 2023-24 Further Information and Example Documentation Pack.

Please remember that 30 hour places will start the term after the child turns 3, if their parents meets the eligibility criteria and their code has been verified.  Therefore, parents should apply during the term that their child turns 3 so that funding can begin at the start of the following term.  Funding for the 30 hours won’t be backdated or start half way through a term.  Please remember funding is allocated on a participation basis.


The key messages are:

  • The foster parents must engage in paid work outside their roles as foster parents;
  • Applications are made through the foster child’s Social Worker, as accessing extended hours must be consistent with the child’s care plan;
  • Foster care applications are managed by the Local Authority, not HMRC;
  • Successful foster care eligibility codes will be validated by childcare providers following the usual process on the Portal; and
  • Apart from the code, the standard 30 hour rules around accessing a place, reconfirming every 3 months and the grace period remain the same.

Further sources of information:

East Midlands Shared Services (EMSS) make the estimate and balance payments made to childcare providers for eligible 2, 3 and 4 year old children and previously issued printed remittance advice slips detailing payments made, which were posted to childcare providers for information. 

Please note that printed remittance advice slips are no longer issued. Childcare providers can still receive remittances by email, but need to provide an email address to EMSS.

Other than the administration of funding for 2, 3 and 4 year olds, the Early Years SEND Fund and the administration of the Disability Access Fund, there are no further current funding opportunities available direct from the Early Years Team.

Depending on the type of organisation your childcare business is and what you are seeking funding for, you may be able to apply for external funding opportunities.  A sample of such funding organisations are shown below;