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Find out more about Free Early Education in Herts

What is Free early education?

2 year old funding
  • Some 2 year olds can get 15 hours free early education, depending on parents circumstances.

3 and 4 year old funding

  • All 3 and 4 year olds can get 15 hours free early education (570 hours per year). They can use these from the term after the child turns 3.
  • Some 3 and 4 year olds can get an extra 15 hours childcare, known as 30 hours free childcare.
  • They can use their 15 free hours with a school nurserychildminder, day nursery or pre-school.

When are children eligible?

All children can get 570 hours of free early education a year, once they turn 3 until they start full-time school.

Child born between...Child can start...

 1 April – 31 August

On or after 1 September after their 3rd birthday

 1 September – 31 December

On or after 1 January after their 3rd birthday

 1 January – 31 March

On or after 1 April after their 3rd birthday

Parents can choose to take the hours at 1 provider or split them between providers.

If they want to split them, the providers will need to be registered on the FEE scheme and agree to this.

How do parents apply

  • For 2 year old funding parents apply online to see if they are eligible using our online checker
  • For 3 and 4 years old funding, as long as the provider is on the Herts FEE scheme then parents can use their hours with them.
  • For 30 hours parents need to create an account and see if they are eligible via childcare choices

There's lot's more detail about all of this for parents on our Childcare and  Free Early Education page.

What centres can do to help

  • Help parents apply
    • Give them some advice on contacting childcare providers in the area
    • If parents need help applying for 2 year old funding, you can do this with them
    • Guide them through the 30 hours process
  • Post on your social media platforms

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