Funded Early Learning Information for Providers

Here you will find information about Funded Early Learning (FEL) and the Code of Practice.

For more information about FEL funding information and to access the provider portal and to provide your headcount information please go to:
Funded Early Learning information for providers | Sheffield City Council

Parents can view the Funded Early Learning advice page here.

Code of Practice for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

The Funded Early Learning (FEL) Code of Practice can be downloaded here.

This document sets out what providers in Sheffield must do in order to meet our requirements for delivering FEL.

2, 3 and 4 year olds parent and carer agreement

We have revised the parent/carer agreement which can be used to record the children who are eligible for free early learning and the 3 and 4 year old children who are eligible for Early Years Pupil Premium.

The agreement can be downloaded here.

We encourage providers to use the recommended agreement as a template only. You can adapt the document to fit in with your existing procedures. Section 6 (Parent/Carer declaration) and section 7 (Provider declaration), however, must not be altered.

Early Years Attendance Strategy

By working to improve attendance we are supporting children to have the best possible start to their education and help prepare them for school.

The Early Years Attendance Guidance in section 4 of the FEL Code of Practice supports our wider Sheffield Attendance Strategy. It highlights the importance of promoting good attendance for all children including at non-statutory childcare providers.

The guidance helps Early Years providers manage and improve the attendance of children accessing Funded Early Learning and sets out our expectations of good practice.

Read more about attendance here.

Early Years Pupil Premium

Providers can claim extra funding for 3 and 4 year old children who are from low income households (annual family income under £16,190).

This funding is called Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) and aims to support children's development, learning and care.


3 and 4 year old children accessing Funded Early Learning (FEL) will be eligible for EYPP funding if they meet at least 1 of the following criteria:

Parent/carer is in receipt of the following benefits:

  • 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 - your household income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax not including any benefits you get

Additional Criteria

You may also get early years pupil premium if your child is currently being looked after by a local authority in England or Wales or if your child has left care in England or Wales through:

  • adoption
  • special guardianship order
  • a child arrangements order

Registering Children for EYPP

We have revised the FEL parent and carer agreement which can be used to register children for FEL and also check if they qualify under the benefit criteria for EYPP.

Eligibility checks

For benefit related claims we use the Government's Eligibility Checking Service (ECS) to confirm whether the child is eligible for EYPP. The use of this service is legislated within the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.

To check eligibility for children who have left care through any of the reasons described above, the Provider, with consent from the parent/carer, must contact the Local Authority and request to claim EYPP for the child. The LA will then make the appropriate checks to see if the child meets the eligibility criteria.


Payments will be calculated using an hourly rate of £0.53.

Providers will receive EYPP funding based on actual hours attended as determined from the Early Years Headcount Census. The payment will be made at the end of each term.

Collecting the information from you

The information will be collected as part of the Early Years Headcount Census process. See the download below for the EYPP data collection process.

Extended entitlement (30 Hours) Free Childcare

New entitlement to free childcare

The Childcare Bill 2016 is a Government commitment to offer working families up to 30 hours' free childcare per week for 3 and 4 year olds.

At the moment all 3 and 4 year olds are able to get 15 hours a week Funded Early Learning. From September 2017, the new policy could add up to 15 hours more free childcare.

Over the next year we will be talking to families, providers and other local authorities across the country to discuss how the offer can best meet the needs of working families and how we can work with providers to develop a best practice approach.

Demand for 30 Hours' Places

To help providers understand what the demand for additional hours is likely to be, we have produced maps that compare the total demand for places we anticipate for Spring 2018, with the number of FEL places supplied currently. This is intended to show how much the funded childcare market is expected to increase in your local area.

About the extended entitlement

Many details of the offer to increase free childcare will not be available until new Statutory Guidance is confirmed by the DfE. We will publish more as information is released.

The following details are based on our current understanding:

30 Hours per week

The new entitlement can be flexible. “30 hours” is based on the provider only being open for the 38 weeks of term time.

Providers have the option to spread the same total of hours out over more weeks.

For example, if the provider was open 48 weeks of the year, then the offer would be for 23.75 hours per week.


A household with 2 working parents or a single parent household where the parent works, will be entitled to the additional hours if they earn at least 16 hours' pay at National Living Wage per week. This is currently £115.20 a week, but will have increased when the offer is available.

Because entitlement is earnings based, unpaid/voluntary work will not count towards your eligibility.

The upper limit on entitlement has been set at £100,000 per year.

The new offer won’t be available until September 2017.

As with Free Early Learning, children will be able to use the free places from the start of the term following their 3rd birthday.

Type of childcare

We understand that the childcare provided should be the same quality as Free Early Learning.