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Early Years Funding: What support is available for Nursery Settings?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We are all aware of the difficulties currently being faced in the Early Years sector, with regards to retention and funds. That’s why we have put together a handy guide that brings together all the funding that could be relevant to your Early Years setting or the families that are part of your Nursery. This way you can spend less time researching what type of support is available, and more time helping the children in your setting develop and learn. 

Free Childcare Hours for 3-4 year olds 

Where is this available? 
In the UK, nearly all households are eligible for free childcare hours for 3-4 year olds. The number of hours you’re entitled to depends on circumstances such as how many hours parents work but also where you live (e.g. England, Wales and Scotland can get up to 30 hours a week in term time, whilst Northern Ireland get 12.5 hours). To use this funding, you must use an approved childcare provider and you may still have to pay for extra costs such as nappies and food for your child.

Free Childcare Hours for 2 year olds

Where is this available? 
There is also some funding available for childcare for children aged 2 years old. The funding is only available to some households, such as families that receive benefits e.g. income support in England or Scotland. In Wales the scheme is only available in certain areas and again is eligible for families on certain benefits.   

Early Years Pupil Premium

Where is this available? 
If a child is in early years education, your setting could be eligible for extra funding to support that child. The child must be 3-4 years old and are already receiving 15 hours of free childcare. Families must be receiving benefits such as Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance to qualify. The setting may get up to £302 per year for a child, and the money is paid directly to the setting.  

Disability Access Fund

Where is this available? 
An Early Years Setting could also receive around £615 a year to help support children with a disability. To qualify, the child needs to be aged between 3-4 years old, already receive 15 hours of free childcare and DLA (Disability living allowance). This will also be paid directly to the Nursery or Early Years provider.  

SEN Inclusion Fund

Where is this available? 

Every local authority must have a SEN inclusion fund to support early years providers in meeting the needs of individual children with SEN. 

Speak to your local authority about how you can access this fund. 

Business Rates Relief

Where is this available? 

Day Nurseries in Scotland will be able to get 100% relief on non-domestic rates. To get this relief your premises must be used only as a nursery school or mainly as a nursery school. 

This relief will be available until at least 30 June 2023. 

Check with your local council to see if you’re eligible and to apply. 

Early Years initial teacher training

Where is this available? 

The Department for Education (DfE) allocates and funds early years initial teacher training (EYITT) places each academic year.  The department provides training bursaries, grants and employer incentives to attract graduates to become early years teachers. 

This funding can only be used for training programmes that help trainees to meet the early years teachers’ standards. The training grant includes the costs of assessment to meet these standards.

For more information on the funding available to trainees see here.

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