All children are entitled to receive up to 15 hours per week over at least 38 weeks (if used in term time) from the term after their third birthday as part of the government's Free Early Education and Childcare Entitlement.

Where can I claim my funded place?

You can claim your free funding from a wide range of Ofsted registered providers including:

  • childminders
  • day nurseries
  • pre-schools
  • nursery classes within a school
  • nursery schools

All of these providers follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

When and how to apply

Families can apply through their chosen childcare provider for a Free Early Education and Childcare placement for the term starting after their child's third birthday. Times and days of attendance will depend on the childcare provider's availability and their free entitlement offer.

You should not be charged for any part of the placement up to a maximum of 15 hours per week over 38 weeks (if taken during term time only). If you want additional hours you will have to request this from your childcare provider and pay for these.

Some providers are able to stretch the entitlement, this means that you can use your entitlement over more weeks of the year but receive fewer hours a week.

Please use the dates below as a guide for when your child is eligible:

  • If your childs birthday is between 1 April and 31 August, you qualify for funding from the autumn term starting in September.
  • If your childs birthday is between 1 September and 31 December, you qualify for funding from the spring term starting in January.
  • If your childs birthday is between 1 January and 31 March, you qualify for funding from the summer term starting in April.

More about the funding

If your child attends a state-maintained nursery class or school, this is their funded part-time early education place. This means that you can not access the entitlement for any hours of childcare they spend in a private or independent nursery or childminder during the same term. Please note if taking up a nursery place in a school this does not guarantee you a reception place. Please see the School Admissions page for details on how to apply for a reception place.

The Free Early Education and Childcare Entitlement funding is paid directly to your childcare provider following a termly funding claim. To access your Free Early Education and Childcare place, the childcare provider will request that you complete a parent declaration form prior to them being able to claim any funding from the local authority.

If you decide to remove your child after the headcount date in the term (please contact us for this terms date) you will not be able to claim the funding from another provider for the rest of the term. If you decide to remove your child before the headcount date you will be able to receive funding at another provider.

If you are purchasing additional childcare that is outside of a Free childcare  Entitlement place, a notice period may apply should you wish to remove your child. Please check with your provider for further information

Search for a provider

To take up your Free Early Education and Childcare Entitlement in the London Borough of Sutton, the childcare provider must be registered with the council. You can search for a list of providers on the Family Services Directory or you can contact the Sutton Family Information Service on 020 8770 6000 for a list of providers in your area.

Contact Us

If you require further information or support to access your free entitlement please contact the Family Information Service on 020 8770 6000.