Early Years Free Entitlement (EYFE)
for 2, 3 and 4 year olds - aka Funding

The government has announced that in addition to the current funding, they will be introducing 15hrs of funding for eligible 2 yr olds in April 2024; 15hrs for eligible 9 mth olds in September 2024; and 30hrs for both groups in September 2025.

Full details have yet to be confirmed, but it is our understanding that the eligibility criteria will be the same as it is for the ‘Extended’ funding for 3 & 4 year olds (see link below).

Eligible parents wishing to claim 2 yr old funding in April 2024 can now register. For more information, please click here.


All 3 & 4 year olds are entitled to ‘Universal’ funding - the equivalent of “15 hours of free childcare a week over 38 weeks” (570hrs a year). Eligible 3 & 4 year olds can claim an additional 15 hours of ‘Extended’ funding a week (a total of 1140hrs a year).

Figures relating to 15hr funding are stated below, with 30hr funding figures (Universal + Extended) stated alongside in brackets.

Settings that are open all year can spread their funding, so parents at Young Sussex Nursery receive 11.25 (22.5) hrs of free childcare a week over 51 weeks. For children attending term-time only, 13.5 (27.0) hrs is spread over 42 weeks.

Session Name

Maximum EYFE


4 hours


4 hours

School Day

7 hours

Full Day

8 hours

As such, a child attending only 2 School Days or 3 Mornings/Afternoons can claim their full Universal entitlement.

Funding will be allocated to the sessions that your child attends each week, up to the session maximum shown above, until you have no further funding remaining for that week.

Our software system automatically allocates maximum funding to the first session attended in the week, followed by each subsequent session until the weekly funding limit of 11.25 (22.5) hrs is reached. How your hours are allocated, and to which sessions will mean that your monthly invoice may show the same session charged at different rates.

The diagram below shows a typical scenario for a child attending 3 Full Day sessions a week (8:15am to 5:30pm), who is claiming Universal funding only (11.25hrs/wk). You can see that the EYFE (in orange) has been applied to Tuesday in full, with a reduced amount applied to Wednesday’s session so as not to exceed the 11.25hr weekly maximum allowance. As a result, the balance to pay (dark blue), and therefore the session cost breakdown on the monthly invoice, is shown as three different rates.

To complicate matters further, the final week of each term may include fewer funded hours as the maximum allowance for the term might have already been reached.

‘Funding Only’ children can opt out of attending any ‘Funding Only’ sessions that have no funding allocated, or can attend, but will be liable to pay the full session cost.

What will you save?

Two hours of funding applied to a four hour session will not give a 50% discount to the session cost.

As a business we strive to be clear and transparent in all that we do, especially regarding financial matters. In order to meet our EYFE obligations and still remain viable as a business, we have had to introduce measures that appear to complicate our simple pricing structure:

Be assured that the total cost for each session is still calculated by multiplying the hourly ‘base rate’ for that age group by the number of hours in the session (with discounts for longer sessions and full week attendance). However, for the purposes of calculating funding, each session is split into a period from the start of the session that is charged at the funded rate and a shorter period at the end charged at a higher, unfunded rate. Your funding entitlement is allocated to the funded rate period, with payment required for any remaining balance of the funded rate period and the full unfunded rate period.

This may or may not be clearer to view pictorially:


8hrs funded


Balance to pay

Full cost to pay


This method makes saving calculations much harder for parents. However, the nursery managers have a funky little excel spreadsheet that they can use to advise you on the exact session costs and savings you will make depending on your chosen attendance. If you have access to Excel you can download the Parent version here, which will allow you to calculate your weekly and average monthly childcare costs after funding has been applied.

Funding Only Sessions

We have a limited number of funding only sessions. Please contact the nursery for availability. Any combination of the following funded only sessions, up to a maximum of 11.25hrs (22.5hrs), can be attended at no cost:



Session Length


Funded Rate

Unfunded Rate

Funded Hours

Balance to Pay

Please note that funded only children attending sessions that are only available to 2 year olds will need to revise their attendance to suit the sessions available to 3 & 4 yr olds from the term after their third birthday.

Any incidental Extra Sessions can be booked but must be paid for at the time of booking. Any increase in regular sessions to include hours outside of the funded only sessions will result in a change to how funding is applied to all sessions (in line with the maximum hours listed above). You will also be required to pay a deposit equal to two weeks of your full regular attendance.


 2yr EYFE

3&4yr Uni

3&4yr Ext

8:15am - 1:00pm

2 (9.5hrs)



1:00pm - 4:45pm

3 (11.25hrs)

3 (11.25hrs)

5 (18.75hrs)

1:00pm - 5:30pm

2 (9.0 hrs)

2 (9.0 hrs)

5 (22.5hrs)

What this means for you at Young Sussex

In short, once your child is entitled to receive funding, the cost of your childcare will go down. Funding is paid to the nursery on your behalf by the Local Authority. Your monthly invoices will show the number of hours that are now attended free of charge, and you will be liable to pay any balance for additional hours your child attends.

So far so simple

Be forewarned that the theory of EYFE is simple, but its implementation and how it works in practice is far from it. Please read on only if you have a clear head and a strong cup of coffee by your side!

Each childcare provider must comply with the conditions set out by central government. Local authorities then impose their own (broadly similar) requirements that must be met. Within these parameters, providers may then stipulate how the funding is offered to suit their operational needs. What follows is information on how Young Sussex offers funding. Other nurseries’ guidelines will differ.

When can you use your EYFE?

Each session has a maximum amount of EYFE allocated, as follows:


Start Date


1 September


1 January


1 April

When will your child be eligible for Universal Funding?

Please be aware that your child will be awarded funding from the start of the term after their third birthday (or second birthday, if eligible), and not on their actual birthday. Equally, 2 yr old funding will continue until the end of the term in which your child’s third birthday falls, at which point 3 & 4 yr old funding applies.

The term start dates are as follows: