Nursery Education Funding

Nursery Education Funding

Q. When can my child start Nursery Education Funding (NEF)?

All 3 and 4 year olds in England are entitled to 570 hours of free early education or childcare a year, and the children of some working parents may be eligible for 1140.  This is often taken as 15 or 30 hours each week for 38 weeks of the year.  Some 2 year olds are also eligible.

You can find out more information about any free and tax free childcare you are eligible for through ‘Childcare Choices’

You can claim NEF for your child from the term after their third birthday and this will remain in place until the start of their Reception Year at school.  Please refer to the following information.

Born Between Funding commences from:
1st January to 31st March Summer Term
1st April to 31st August Autumn Term
1st September to 31st December Spring Term

If your child's birthday is for example on the 1st or 2nd January and the term starts on the 5th January your child will not receive funding until the Summer Term.

Q. How many funded hours can my child have?

Your child is entitled to a maximum of 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year.  For children of some working parents the entitlement is a maximum of 30 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year.

Q. How can I use my funded hours?

An example of how you could use your full funded hours are as follows:

3 hours a day, 5 days a week

1 full day (8.30am to 3.30pm) plus 2 mornings (8.30am to 12.30pm)

1 full day (8.30am to 3.30pm) plus 2 afternoons (11.30am to 3.30pm)

2 whole days (8am to 4pm)

Although we aim to be flexible.


Q. Do all my hours need to be used at the same Early Years Setting?

No. Your hours can be used with more than one Early Years Setting, however you cannot have more than your entitlement of either 30 funded hours or 15 funded hours per week depending on your eligibility.


Q. Do I have to use the Nursery Education Funding?

It is entirely your choice as a parent to choose which kind of early education you provide for your child. By law, children are not required to attend an educational setting until the term after their fifth birthday; NEF is only available until your child starts school.

Q. Where can I find more information about Nursery Education Funding?

Please follow the link below to the Herefordshire Local Authority website.