Free Entitlement to Early Education (FEEE)

OMCs Policy regarding claiming your child’s funded hours

Opening Hours for Early Years: : Donisthorpe: 8.30 - 16.00  Church Gresley 7.00 to 19.00

How flexible can my hours be?
Your child’s funded hours must be set hours each week to reserve your space. 
Funded hours cannot be used on a Booking-Only contract basis.

We impose no limits other than those set by the County Council which is the need to do a minimum of 2.5 hours a day, a maximum of 10 hours per day and the hours need to be used within the week unless you have stretched funding contract.  OMC does require you to book full hour places i.e. 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours.  Your hours therefore can be used in an individual designed timetable of booked sessions.

If you wish to make arrangements to provide a rota or varying shift pattern this must be discussed during the set-up of the contract or as a change of contract completed with agreement from management.  If you require care over various hours throughout the full week and we must hold a full time place to accommodate your hours, this will not be possible as soon as places on each day become limited.  Therefore, varied hours/rotational patterns can only be accommodated when there is space to do this.  If places for specific days become limited we will be ask you to book a permanent place for that day to facilitate attendance as the place cannot be held in case of need.

At our Donisthorpe setting the hours can only be used between 08.30 and 16.00  however as the settings hours expand it will again adopt a more flexible approach to the Free Entitlement of Early Education.

How can I change or cancel my hours?
If you wish to change your agreed funded hours permanently you need to provide one month’s notice by writing either via email or on a Care Changes form.   If this can be facilitated earlier we will advise you when we can activate the change. 

If you wish to withdraw your child between term times over the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays, there is no notice period due for funded hours however we do require written confirmation of a withdrawal for Ofsted purposes.  If you have any additional ‘paid for’ hours these will require a full months written notice and will be fully chargeable.

If you wish to change hours as a one off arrangement due to unforeseen circumstances, such as changing a Wednesday for a Friday, we require the request to be received and considered the Thursday (5pm) before the week of the change.  If it will not adversely affect the care of the children attending that day and we have sufficient spaces we can agree the change however each request must be considered prior to the practitioner allocation being arranged on the Friday morning.  Hours missed due to ill-health and holidays cannot be rearranged and Bank Holiday hours cannot be allocated to another day.  We do not have the capacity to facilitate this for all and therefore cannot make exceptions.

Any urgent and immediate changes will be considered on a request basis but cannot impact the care of the children already booked to attend.

What do I need to provide to progress the claim?
Your 15 hours entitlement depends on the production of a birth certificate, medical card or passport and a completed County Council Funding for Early Education Entitlement form.  For Two Year Old Funding it also depends on the letter from the County Council confirming your entitlement.  Without this documentation we will not be able to claim your funding and will not be able to begin the placement.

For the 30 hour funding we need to have your current code and this will be checked on our government portal and then the 30 hours funding can be accessed.  You can register for your access at:

When is the funding available for?
The Funding for Early Education Entitlement is only available for 38 weeks and the school terms are for 39 weeks.  Therefore the funded hours will finish one week prior to the end of the County Councils summer term and any required hours for that week will be charged for in full.  Please see our yearly calendar.


How does Stretched Funding work?
The stretched funding hours are allocated according to the amount of hours claimable each term and can be stretched over the academic year (September to September) or from each term until the next September (see table below).   Current Donisthorpe is only open Term-time so all hours during holiday periods will be taken at Church Gresley.

The additional hours that cannot be divided equally throughout the term weeks will be added together and will be offered on a booking basis either to extend sessions or add session on (see ‘Pink section’).  These should be booked at the beginning of each term as the attendance pattern is finalised.  These could be used for extending hours, a special occasion such as the Christmas party or could be used for an additional session to attend a trip.

To provide guidance, examples of patterns of attendances are included on the next page and include possible stretched hourly patterns.  These are not suggestions and are examples to support you to understand the range of options to suit your child and your families needs.

Stretched funding examples



Why should you support your child to access her 15 hours funding?

All children, from the term after their 3rd birthday, are entitled to 15 hours free education per week.  This continues until they begin school.

A dramatic improvement in children’s outcomes has been linked to access to high, quality graduate led provision.

While many parents believe that a child’s essential education will occur when they go to school, many of the key learning and development processes have already occurred prior to school age.  For a full video and explanation of this:

Graham Allen completed a government paper in 2012 called Early Intervention which outlined the key evidence that demonstrates the need to support early development and the importance of early brain development for a positive impact on future outcomes.

This is why the government invests long term in early education thought the Free Entitlement to Early Education providing all children with the ability to access high quality settings.

A high quality setting has various definitions but key issues tend to be formal, higher level qualifications of practitioners and if a setting is graduate led with strong leadership and management.  Practitioners should also engage in theoretically sound reflective practice utilising child directed learning to enhance well-being and involvement levels.

It is important to check your providers current Ofsted Report by searching their EY number, name or location in the Ofsted Inspection Report section. 

Providers have been known to misrepresent their current grading with unclear wording or previous reports. 

To check follow this link: 


Leicestershire County Council Settings

Leicestershire County Council have their own policy and this is detailed on the County Council Website at the link below.  The details on this page are for providers but are available for the public to access.  This outlines Leicestershire County Councils expectations of our service and the limitations if places on the offer of a funded placement.

Early Learning and Childcare Service; Parent and Carer Information Leaflet for the 2 Year Old Funding

If you are the parent or carer of a two year old child, you may be entitled to claim for a free part time place at a day nursery, pre-school or childminder, for the term following your child’s 2nd birthday. 

The free place will be for a maximum of 15 hours per week for 38 weeks over a school year and will be predominantly for families on a low income as well as those children who are looked after by the local authority.

To find out if you qualify for a free place, you can contact us on: 0116 3056208.  You will be asked for the following information: your name, your date of birth, your National Insurance Number.

You will also be asked to provide us with your address and telephone contact details and the details of your two year old child/ren.

You can also talk to staff at your local Children’s Centre, as they will know all about the process for free places for two year olds.  They will be able to assist you in making the phone call if you wish. To find your nearest Children’s Centre visit or call the Family Information Service on 0116 305 6545.

If you are entitled to the funding we will send you more information through the post, detailing what you need to do next.

You will have four weeks from the date of the letter you receive to register for a free place at your chosen childcare provider.  When you visit your childcare provider you will need to take the following with you:

Top copy of the letter:  Parental Statement Of Undertaking (PSOU) form (this will be sent to you along with your letter and your chosen childcare provider will help you to complete it). Evidence of your child’s date of birth, such as their Birth Certificate, Passport or Medical Card.

Your 15 hours is totally free and you should not be asked to pay any costs towards it.  However, if you need to use the setting for more than the free 15 hours, you should agree the charges for these directly with the setting, before you take up your place. The local authority is unable to dictate what a provider charges for any additional hours taken or services offered outside of the free hours.

Once you have taken up your place with a setting you should ensure your child attends for all of the free hours you requested on your PSOU form, if you are unable to attend for any reason, please talk to your childcare provider.

When your child turns three, you will be eligible to continue with your free 15 hours and you should talk to your provider about continuing your free place.

If you want further information about free childcare places for two year olds, please telephone 0116 3056208 or speak to a member of staff at your local Children’s Centre, remember  we are here to help you.

Please note that although you have a choice of childcare providers, you may not always be offered the full entitlement at the times you want at the provider of your choice.

Funding at 3 and 4 years old

This link takes you to the County Council Website explaining your entitlement.

Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) – A guide for Parents and Carers

All parents/carers of children aged 3 and 4, can access up to 15 hours of FREE early learning and childcare each week for a maximum of 38 weeks (equating to 570 hours per year). Your child will be eligible at the start of the school term after they turn 3. All providers offering the FEEE will be registered with OfSTED and be on the Local Authority’s Directory of Early Education providers to be able to offer the free hours to children aged 3 and 4. The types of provision available include full day care nurseries, playgroups, some children’s centres and childminders. Staff are trained and qualified to care for your child, helping them to learn and develop.

Although you have a choice of providers as detailed above, you may not always be offered the full entitlement at the times you want at the provider of your choice.

Leicestershire’s Family Information Service is a free and impartial service that can help you choose the right kind of place for your child and provide you with the contact details of settings in your area. Please contact them on 0116 305 6545.

You can access your 15 hours of FEEE, but please note the following rules apply:

  • you can take no more than 10 hours in any one day

  • you can’t use less than 2.5 hours in any one day

  • you can access your 15 hours between 7.00 am and 7.00 pm

  • you can spread your 15 hours free early learning entitlement between a

  • maximum of 2 providers. In cases of over claims the local authority will determine how your payments are split between the two providers

  • your child must be in attendance for all of the funded time claimed for by your early years provider, unless there is a valid reason such as illness or holiday in order to access your hours you must ensure you sign a Parental Statement of Undertaking (PSOU) for the setting each term and provide the setting with proof of your child’s age i.e. a document such as a birth certificate, passport, or medical card.

The following is a national birth date eligibility table which will tell you when your child will be able to take up its free place depending on when the child’s birth date falls:

A child born between: Will be eligible for a free place from:

1 April and 31 August The start of the autumn term following their third birthday until statutory school age.

1 Sept and 31 December The start of the spring term following their third birthday until statutory school age.

1 January and 31 March The start of the summer term following their third birthday until statutory school age.

Headcount Dates

In order to access FEEE, your child has to be attending a provision before the dates shown in the table below. If your child is not in attendance (due to holidays or sickness etc.) but is registered with the provision and is able to take the place up within two weeks of this date, then you can still receive your free entitlement from the start of the term.

How will your child’s place be paid for?

Your 15 hours is totally free and you should not be asked to pay any costs towards it. However, if you need to use the setting for more than the funded 15 hours, you should agree the charges for these directly with the setting, preferably before you take up your place.

In addition you should discuss any further costs, i.e. meals, nappies, wipes, drop off and collection charges and dance or music classes etc, prior to your child taking up their place at the provision.

The local authority is unable to dictate what a provider charges for any additional hours taken or services offered outside of the free entitlement.

Your child’s learning and development

When your child attends an early years provider they will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage, which is a play based curriculum. Children will learn how to develop their social, physical, speaking, listening, reading and writing skills and will learn through mathematical and creative activities.

When your child leaves the setting to attend school, you are entitled to request your child’s Learning Journey detailing your child’s progress so far, and you should ensure you pass this on to your child’s school to aid his or her transition. The same applies if your child leaves a childcare setting to attend an alternative childcare provision.

What if your child has Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND)?

If your child has SEND and attends either Sketchley Hill or Wigston Menphys Centre’s you may be able to access up to an extra 6 hours of FEEE per week. If this is the case you should speak to your provider about claiming for this time -or for more information please contact the Family Information Service on 0116 305 6545.

How to arrange your place

Once you have found a place that’s right for your child, the childcare provider will ask you to complete a PSOU and provide documentation to verify your child’s date of birth, such as a birth certificate, passport or medical card.

The free 15 hours entitlement is purchased by the local authority on your behalf and funding is sent directly to the early year’s provider. The hours you claim via the PSOU should be shown as free on your invoice.


Derbyshire County Council Settings

Funding at 2 years old

Derbyshire families with a household income of less than £16,190 a year and receiving Working Tax Credits − or those on certain benefits - are now entitled to up to 15 hours of free childcare a week.

This link will take you to an electronic application form to access your 15 hours.

Funding at 3 years old

Derbyshire County Council are committed to high quality practice and flexibility.  The details of their funding policy are outlined on their website:

Key limitations on the use of the 15 hours include,

  • No session longer than ten hours, although six is seen as best practice
  • No session shorter than 2 ½ hours
  • Not before 7.00 am or after 7.00 pm
  • 15 hours over a minimum of two days
  • Maximum of two providers unless the case is exceptional

As a provider we cannot charge any additional fees for your placement other than our hourly rate for any additional hours that you book.  All other stipulations are detailed on the documents at the bottom of this page.