Providing the Early Years Free Entitlements (EYFE) for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

Information for childcare providers about providing the Early Years Free Entitlements (EYFE) for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

This is information for childcare providers.

If you're a parent or carer, find information about childcare funding options and eligibility.

All local authorities and childcare providers have to deliver Early Years Free Entitlement (EYFE) in accordance with statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education.

Provider agreement

All childcare providers in Brighton & Hove must sign up to our provider agreement to be funded to provide EYFE for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

Download the current EYFE provider agreement.

What are the Early Years Free Entitlements (EYFE)?

All 3 and 4 year olds and some eligible 2 year olds are, from the term after their second (if eligible) or third (universal) birthdays, entitled to free early years provision up to 15 hours a week for 38 weeks per year (term-time) or stretched to 570 hours if the child attends year round.

Birthday falls between: EYFE starts beginning of term on or after:

  • 1 April and 31 August 1 September (Autumn)
  • 1 September and 31 December 1 January (Spring)
  • 1 January and 31 March 1 April (Summer)

Find out about the EYFE for 2, 3 and 4 year olds eligible birthdates:

Some 3 and 4 year olds whose parents are working are entitled to an additional 15 hours per week, in other words 30 hours term-time or 1,140 stretched across the year, this is called the 'Extended' or '30 hours' Entitlement and became statutory under the Childcare Act 2016.

Childcare providers can find further information, support and guidance regarding the new extended entitlement on our web page 30 hours free childcare - information for providers.

Detailed information regarding eligibility criteria for all the entitlements can be found in Appendix 1 of the new provider agreement.

How can EYFE be offered?

Providers should offer families their full entitlement of EYFE (providing they have space available), and we encourage providers to develop a flexible offer which supports both the learning and development of children and childcare needs of families, subject to the following standards:

  • No session to be longer than 10 hours
  • No minimum session length (subject to requirements of registration on the Ofsted Early Years Register)
  • Not before 6am or after 8pm
  • A maximum of 2 sites in a single day

Term-time offer

Term-time only EYFE is up to 15 (or 30) hours across 38 weeks of the 3 school terms as follows:

  • Autumn term: 14 weeks x 15 (30) hours = 210 (420) hours
  • Spring term: 11 weeks x 15 (30) hours = 165 (330) hours
  • Summer term: 13 weeks x 15 (30) hours = 195 (390) hours

'Stretched' offer

Providers who are open all year round can offer to stretch the total 570 (1,140) hours to a maximum of 52 weeks. For example, 51 weeks x 11 (22) hours (approx), 50 weeks x 11.5 (23) hours (approx) or 47 weeks x 12 (24) hours (approx), enabling children to access their EYFE during school holidays. Please see Claiming Stretched Funding via Synergy (256KB) for further information.

Providers inform BHCC how they will offer EYFE in their 'Core Offer' Form - part of the annual agreement between BHCC and providers of EYFE.

Further detailed information can be found in Sections 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the new provider agreement.

Who can offer EYFE?

In order to provide EYFE, you must deliver the full Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and be registered with Ofsted as an early years provider or be a school taking children two and over and therefore exempt from registration with Ofsted as an early years provider.

You must be registered with BHCC to offer the EYFE for 2, (where agreed) 3 and 4 year olds (see below 'How to Register').

BHCC will fund places for 2,3 and 4 year olds at any provider registered with us and with a 'good' or 'outstanding' judgements from Ofsted, we will fund places for 3 and 4 year olds at providers judged 'satisfactory' or 'requires improvement', but will only fund places for 2 year olds at settings judged less than good where there is not sufficient accessible 'good' or 'outstanding' provision.

Detailed information regarding who can offer EYFE can be found in Section 10 of the new provider agreement.

Registering to offer EYFE in Brighton & Hove

You should then return the completed documents together with your Safeguarding (Child Protection) and Inclusion (SEND) Policies to: Early Years and Childcare, BHCC, First Floor, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove, BN3 3BQ or email

Once all the above has been checked and agreed by the early years team, a provider contract(s) will be forwarded for you to sign and return, once we have received your signed contract(s) your setting can begin to offer EYFE, your setting will be added FIS Directory list of providers offering EYFE and you can claim funding for any eligible children attending with you. (see below).

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

For detailed information about eligibility criteria and how to claim EYPP please see our EYPP guidance for providers (PDF 39KB)

EYPP is additional funding (amounting to £300 per child per year where a child attends for their EYFE) for providers to support 3 and 4 year olds from families in receipt of out of work benefits or if they are looked after or have left the care of the Local Authority through adoption or special guardianship. This funding should be used to enhance the quality of the child’s early years’ experience by improving the provision and resources, with the aim of impacting positively on their progress and development, for further information, see our webpage Effective use of EYPP.

We have also produced an EYPP Sample letter (WORD 45KB), for providers to give to parents telling them about EYPP, hopefully this will encourage parents to give providers the information needed to check eligibility.

Including Children with SEND

Additional support funding is offered to EYFE providers for 2,3 and 4 year olds with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who need extra help to access mainstream childcare provision. Brighton & Hove Integrated Support Service (BHISS) assesses the need for and administers and monitors additional support funding for pre-school children. For further detailed information about changes to additional support funding please read our guidance Additional Support Funding for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is a one-off annual payment to childcare providers for 3 and 4 year olds in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)*, and accessing their EYFE with them. For further detailed information about the DAF and what you need to do to apply for the payment please read our Disability Access Fund (DAF) Guidance (PDF 41.6KB)

*DLA is the main benefit for disabled children and is there to help meet any extra costs of being disabled. Any ill or disabled child may be able to qualify, even those who don’t have a diagnosis. It is not means tested so parents financial situation will not be taken into account. DLA is also not taxable or treated as income for other benefits.

EYFE Funding and how to claim it

Brighton & Hove City Council funds EYFE for 3 and 4 year olds in accordance with the Early Years National Funding Formula.

See an explanation of the Brighton & Hove City Council formula for 2022 to 2023. The Brighton & Hove City Council funding rate for EYFE for eligible 2 year olds for financial year 2022 to 2023 is £5.57 per hour.

Funding is paid to providers termly, in two instalments. The first instalment is based on the total estimated EYFE hours for that term. Estimates are based on information providers give to BHCC the previous term about eligible children attending or starting with them. The payment is 75% of the total estimated EYFE hours and is made at the beginning of each term. The second instalment is based on actual EYFE hours provided to BHCC in the termly headcount. This balancing payment is made after half term, enabling any adjustments to be made, for example if actual hours differ from the estimate. The EYFE headcount and payment timetable gives provisional dates for the financial year 2022 to 2023.

When a child starts their EYFE at a setting, providers must ask their parent/carer to complete a parental EYFE declaration form, this form gives providers the information they need to submit accurate headcount and census information, if there is a change to a child's EYFE e.g. changing sessions, increasing hours, the provider should use the Parental Change of Attendance Form. All signed EYFE paperwork should be kept securely by the provider for audit purposes.

BHCC uses a web-based system, the Synergy on-line Provider Portal for all EYFE providers to submit all information required to claim EYFE funding - termly headcount submissions, annual census information about your setting, termly estimated hours and any in-term adjustments e.g. when children start or leave after headcount. Guidance is emailed to all providers regularly regarding funding information we require via the portal - including how to submit it and deadlines for submission.

Data privacy

Where a provider retains a copy of documentation this must be stored securely and deleted in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018when there is no longer a good reason to keep the data. Providers should refer to the data privacy guidance set out in the Parental EYFE Declaration, part 6. The DfE have produced a Privacy Notice Template (“Privacy Notice: suggested text for pupils”) for providers to give to parents to explain how their information will be used. Early Years providers will need to change it to be appropriate to their provision.

Please see the Data Privacy Notice: childcare provider records for details about how BHCC uses and stores information about childcare providers in the city.

 Links to further documents and information for providers offering EYFE

Contact details

If you have any further questions send an email to