Services for Young Children

How do I arrange for my child to have their free Early Years Education (EYE) entitlement?

  • You will need to contact the early years education provider that you are currently using (or intend to use) for your child’s care and education.

  • The provider will check when your child will become eligible. If your child is eligible, you will be asked to complete an Early Years Education (EYE) parent form.

  • Your provider will then claim funding for your child's place from Hampshire County Council. The funding will go to the childcare provider direct.

The Government states that early education places paid for by the local authority must be delivered completely free of charge to parents. This means that parents cannot be charged for any part of their child's free Early Years Education, either directly or indirectly, where they are only requesting the free hours. For example, under no circumstance should the provider:

  • levy any fee in respect of the free Early Years Education

  • charge in advance for the free hours and refund at a later date

  • charge an administration fee or deposit for the free entitlement

  • or place any condition on children accessing their free entitlement, eg that they must purchase additional extras or meals that have a cost

Where parents require their children to access additional services beyond the free entitlement, or hours over and above the free entitlement, the provider will have terms and conditions relating to the the payment of these additional services. It is recommended that parents ensure that they have discussed these additional services and/or have seen any contract terms and conditions from their provider, before their child takes up a place so that they are clear about how any additional fees and charges are applied.

Finding an early years education provider

If your child is currently not attending an early years education provider then you can search for a provider in your area via the Hampshire Family Information Directory, or contact the Family Information Service for details of registered childcare providers in your area.

Find out more about different types of childcare provider.

Can I change the number of hours I claim from my child's childcare provider(s) during the term?

No. Unfortunately any changes to the number of free hours accessed at one (or more) childcare service needs to wait until the start of the next (new) funding period.

I would like to query the invoice I have received from my child’s childcare provider

If you do not understand how you have been charged for services or do not agree with what has been charged, in the first instance you should speak directly to the person responsible for invoicing, and/or the manager of the childcare service.

Childcare providers in Hampshire do differ in how they manage their business and the charges they set, outside of the free early years education time.

Providers do have a responsibility to their parents to provide clear and concise information about their service charges and billing arrangements and therefore should be prepared to spend time going through any paperwork or queries with you.

If there continues to be a problem then contact the Services for Young Children Information Support Team on 01962 847070 or email: