Services for Young Children

When will my child be eligible for free early years education?

Free part-time early years education starts in the funding period after your child’s second birthday (if the eligibility criteria is met - see 2 Year Old Offer ), or for all children after their third birthday. Children become entitled on 1 January, 1 April and 1 September.

Child's Birthday

When Funding Can Start

1 January - 31 March

1 April

1 April - 31 August

1 September

1 September - 31 December

1 January

For example, if your child was born on 1 April 2012, their third birthday will fall on 1 April 2015 and they will become entitled for free part-time early years education from the beginning of the next funding period starting 1 September 2015.

Where the Easter holiday falls has no bearing regarding eligibility or when the funding starts.

The chart of eligibility attached shows how children are eligible for free early years education in the 'funding periods' until they reach statutory school age.

When will the free early years education finish?

Free early years education finishes the funded period after your child's fifth birthday. However if your child starts school before this time (even if it is on a part time basis), then the free early years education will stop at the preschool provider as your child is receiving education at school which is free.

For further information regarding the transition from preschool to school see 'Starting School In Hampshire'.

If you would like your child to continue attending their preschool provision even though they are of school age (deferment) then please see When will my child start school? for further information, including details regarding 'deceleration', as a result of deferment.