Free entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds

Please see the presentation from the provider events held between 10 to 13 September 2018.

Register to deliver funded places or change your payment details

We have changed the process of how we receive information from childcare providers. You may use our new online form to:

  • register to deliver funded places
    • if you are already registered for free childcare and education for 2 year olds but wish to register for free entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds or 30 hour free childcare
    • you do not have to re-register for 30 hour free childcare if you already offer free entitlement but you do still need to ensure that you have completed an annual provider agreement
  • complete the annual provider agreement
    • the annual provider agreement must be completed to continue to receive early years funding. Please note that the updated provider agreement for 2018 to 2019 will be available shortly – additional time for submissions will be allocated accordingly.
  • update your bank details
Register to deliver funded places, update bank details or complete an annual agreement

Funding rate for 2018 to 2019

The funding for Northamptonshire’s childcare providers delivering free entitlement and the extended 30 hours for 3 and 4 year old children is determined by the local Early Years Single Funding Formula (EYSFF).

The EYSFF funding rates for the financial year 2018 to 2019 have now been agreed. It is important to note that the majority of EYSFF rates have not been changed from 2017 to 2018.

The few changes that have been made have been detailed below:

  • The nursery unit deduction adjustment will be reduced from 10p per hour (in 2017 to 2018) to 5p per hour for 2018 to 2019. This will be removed completely by April 2019.
  • The Ofsted grade element of the quality supplement has been reduced by 50% to 4 and 1 points respectively in 2018 to 2019, and will be fully removed from April 2019. This change has been implemented due to the early years National Funding Formula guidance from the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA).
  • The deprivation supplement will have no change in criteria or rate, but timing around when the deprivation funding will be allocated has changed. The supplement will now be fixed for the year, based on annual Early Years Census information provided in the Spring 2018 funding block. This will give childcare providers more certainty regarding the amount they will receive for this supplement, so they can better plan how to use this additional funding in 2018 to 2019 and improving outcomes for the most deprived children in our county.
  • File Download - Early years single funding formula 2018 to 2019 (Excel 22KB)Early years single funding formula 2018 to 2019 (Excel 22KB)
  • File Download - Early years single funding formula rates (PDF 104KB)Early years single funding formula rates (PDF 104KB)

Elements of the funding are determined, directly or indirectly, by the degree of deprivation (as defined by the National Index of Multiple Deprivation) attached to the postcode of the setting or the domestic residence of children attending the setting.

For information regarding postcodes in areas of deprivation, Children's Centre reach areas and districts please use the below document:

Below is a list of postcodes in the county together with a deprivation rating of the postcode:

Visit the Department for Education (DfE) website for more information.

How do I claim the free entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds?

Headcount day information

 For information on headcount dates and the dates that forms will be open, please see the documents below:

Registered providers can make their headcount claims by logging into the provider portal and completing them. 

If you have any enquiries regarding the provider portal and the headcount claims, please view the frequently asked questions document below:

Please use the below guidance document for information on how to use the provider portal:

Following the monthly payment of headcount claims a detailed report will be sent to providers to give a full breakdown of payments and all Early Years supplements received. A guidance document for these reports can be found below:

Other information regarding funding claims will be made available in the Early Years Bulletin.

Parental declaration

Below is the parental declaration that acts as the contract between the family and the provider of the free childcare for 2 year olds, the free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds and 30 hours free childcare.

Please note: The privacy notice must be viewed by the parent or ​carer before they sign the parental declaration.

If you require assistance regarding the parental declaration, please do not hesitate to contact us at

EYSFF indicative budgets

To find information on the provisional EYSFF Indicative Budgets for 2018 to 2019, please visit the council's Budget Information pages.

Free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds - guide for providers

The updated provider agreement for 2018 to 2019 will be available shortly. Please see the statutory guidance below for more information.

Statutory guidance - early years and childcare

The county council is bound by the statutory guidance. These guidelines are issued to all local authorities by the Department for Education (DfE) on the delivery of the free childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

Operational guidance

SEND Code of Practice

Local authorities must ensure they meet their duties under the Equality Act 2010 and take account of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 0 to 25 when securing free places.