Home > Education > Early Learning Funding for Young Children

Early Learning Funding for Young Children

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 21 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
Early Learning Funding Children

Parents in England can benefit from early learning funding for their young children. This type of early learning is not school; it is a chance for children to play and learn with each other in a secure and organised way.

Basic Details

The age of children who qualify for early learning funding is three and four. Each child can have at least 121/2 hours of free learning every week. The number of weeks that the learning runs during the course of a year is 38. From 2010, 121/2 hours of learning increases to 15 hours per week. The number of days over which this occurs is three.

Age Requirements

To help parents find out just when a child qualifies for early learning funding, the government has issued the following guidance:
  • For children with birthdays between 1 January and 31 March, eligibility begins on 1 April after they turn three
  • For children born between 1 April and 31 August, eligibility starts on 1 September after their third birthday
  • For children with birthdays between 1 September and 31 December, eligibility for early learning begins on 1 January after they reach the age of three
Whatever a child’s birthday, the funding for free early learning places continues until he or she reaches the statutory school age of


The providers of free early learning are: preschools; playgroups; Sure Start Children’s Centres; nurseries; and childminders. Nurseries can be day nurseries, maintained nursery schools, primary school nursery classes and private nurseries. Childminders must be on the local authority’s registered list. They must also have approval to offer early learning. Local authorities provide all necessary advice to parents and can make the early learning arrangements. It’s also possible to ask local Family Information Services about suitable providers in the area.


As with other aspects of education, early learning must meet certain standards. To begin with, all providers must be in the local authority’s Directory. This helps ensure safety and consistency. Each provider also receives Ofsted inspections. These check for compliance to government goals, safety regulations, and appropriate childcare standards.

Finally, each provider must follow the priorities given in the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage.

The Learning Process

The Early Years Foundation Stage has five main aims:
  • The first of these is to help children learn by playing. This is an established technique used successfully in many countries
  • The second is to encourage the providers of early learning to maintain regular contact with parents. The idea is to explain the process to parents and promote as much interest in early learning as possible
  • The next aim relates closely to the second. It states that a provider must remain aware of any learning a child does at home
  • The fourth objective is to keep parents informed of a child’s learning progress
  • The fifth aim is to ensure that all children regardless of background and ability receive the same standard of learning, development and welfare. This also applies to disabled children and those with special needs


Early learning funding covers the provider’s costs. Furthermore, all parents are eligible for the funding whatever their circumstances.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi, my son took an entrance examination with King Edward's School Birmingham and was asked for an interview for assisted placement but unfortunately he was not awarded an assisted placement.The school had advised that my son can still enrol as a full paying student based on his exam result.The problem is we cannot afford the fees.My son wants to pursue a career in Aero Engineering and aspire to become a Scientist.I hope that our circumstance wouldn't hinder him to follow his inspiration of a good school.Thank you.
Maria - 21-Feb-13 @ 12:02 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sarah
    Re: Funding for Social Entrepreneurs
    My partner and I are setting up an off grid aquaponic system and are looking for financial support and advice. Many thanks,…
    13 August 2020
  • Red Kite
    Re: Gardens for Children Grants
    Hello I'm an Outdoor Learning Teaching Assistant at Barnham Broom Primary school. We would love to develop a gardening area with…
    12 August 2020
  • Ja j
    Re: Where to Find Funding if You're a Carer
    I am a carer for my partner we have kids I do every thing for them shopping chemist cooking i was looking for help…
    12 August 2020
  • wambo
    Re: Getting a Renovation Grant
    Hi there, I bought a council house 3 years ago, its was in a bad state and its really bad and the bathroom is all broken at the…
    11 August 2020
  • allana
    Re: Grants for Property Repairs and Maintenance
    could you tel me how I apply for a house proud grant. My house need a lot of TLC but mostly I need a new rewire…
    11 August 2020
  • Ams
    Re: How to Get a Mobility Grant
    I had a stoke 3 year ago i am now 33 and my left side gone numb and Ive got no feeling in that side from my neck down to my foot…
    10 August 2020
  • Daz
    Re: Construction Industry Grants
    Hi , I am currently unemployed, is there a grant to help pay for retraining, I did have a 360 certificate and rough terrain…
    10 August 2020
  • Ross
    Re: Grants for Disabled Entrepreneurs
    Hi I am a 42 year old with autism I have two children one 7 on spectrum the other not old enough to be diagnosed I have a…
    7 August 2020
  • Bridie Mullin
    Re: Gardens for Children Grants
    I am a volunteer director with the local community group in a rural area of N. Ireland. We want to upgrade our gym equipment in…
    5 August 2020
  • Angie
    Re: Grants for Writers
    I currently work as a Learning & Development Officer writing e-learning courses for staff that support people with learning disabilities. I…
    4 August 2020