Early Years Funding

What is the Early Education Funding Entitlement?

Early Education Entitlement is effectively free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds funded by the government. All children are entitled to this free early education entitlement starting from the term after their third birthday and for up to 570 hours per year. You may have heard the entitlement referred to as ’15 hours per week’. This is because in school based nursery settings the entitlement is given as 15 hours for the 38 school weeks each year. Holly Tree Montessori is registered as a provider of the Early Education Entitlement. The funding is received directly to Holly Tree Montessori and enables you to receive your free childcare. As we are open all year round, your entitlement is spread throughout the year, annualized and deducted in 12 monthly installments of 47.5 hours. Although the 570 hours of childcare is free, you will be charged for any additional hours of childcare your child has over and above the free entitlement. You will also be charged for meals, drinks and snacks during your funded sessions if these hours occur over breakfast, lunch or tea time.

When can my child begin their Early Education Entitlement?
Children can begin to received their free education hours from the term after their 3rd birthday Once your child has started to receive their early education entitlement, it continues until the end of the term before your child starts full time school.

What do I have to do to access the free entitlement with Holly Tree Montessori?
Shortly after the beginning of each term, you will be asked to sign a parental declaration, setting out the agreed hours and patterns of access to the free entitlement. Your entitlement may be split with another provider if you wish. If you decide to access your free entitlement at more than one provider you will be asked to sign a parental declaration at both settings. Signing a parental declaration commits parents and the childcare provider to a termly contract. Due to the rules set down by the local authority, it is not possible to change the pattern of your free entitlement or to change to a different provider during that term, except under exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of the local authority.

What happens if my child already attends Holly Tree Montessori?
If your child already attends Holly Tree Montessori, once you are eligible for funding we will assume you want to continue accessing the same sessions and we will automatically convert some of your childcare sessions to funded sessions. However, you can change your sessions prior to the start of the term. Please note that you will still be required to sign a parental declaration each term.

Can I attend Holly Tree Montessori for my free hours only?
Yes – if you attend for 1 full day each week, your childcare will be free except for our charges for meals, drinks and snacks. Attending Holly Tree Montessori for 11 hours a week is the maximum entitlement we offer. If your child attends above the 11 hours a week, you will be charged in line with our normal pricing policy.