Guidance for free early education providers

The Funding Agreement

The Funding Agreement for Providers of Early Education and Childcare comes into effect on 1 September 2017 and has been developed in line with the Early Education and Childcare Statutory Guidance and Model Agreement that was published by the DfE in March 2017.

If you wish to offer either the universal 15 hours free childcare, or the extended 15 hours free childcare from 1 September 2017 you must accept the new terms and conditions of funding by Friday 8 September 2017.  You can sign the new Funding Agreement anytime between Tuesday 1 August 2017 and Friday 8 September 2017.

If you sign the Funding Agreement after Friday 8 September 2017 it will result in delays to your Autumn payment, as the Council cannot fund any Service Provider that does not have a signed Funding Agreement in place.

To sign the Funding Agreement you must log on to the provider portal and accept the terms and conditions.  Go to the 'Forms' tab and click on the link called Declaration of Acceptance Funding Agreement.  Please ensure the form is fully completed before clicking on the 'Submit' button.  The new agreement/form will only be available for signing from Tuesday 1 August 2017.

Please note:  If you click on the form prior to Tuesday 1 August 2017 you are re-accepting the 2016-2017 terms and conditions NOT the new terms and conditions.  Please ensure you only log onto the Provider Portal between Tuesday 1 August 2017 and Friday 8 September to sign the new Funding Agreement.  

The Parental Agreement

You must have a signed Parental Agreement in place before you make a claim for the FEE.

The Parental Agreement is a contract between you and the parent that states the agreed conditions, hours and patterns of access to the FEE. The Parental Agreement also authorises you to claim FEE funding on the parent/carer's behalf. Without this authorisation you cannot claim FEE funding.

If you do not have a signed Parental Agreement in place at headcount week you cannot make a FEE claim as you will not have authority from the parent to claim their FEE hours.

We have produced a 'model' Parental Agreement for settings to use if they wish to.


How to submit funding claims

You should submit your claims via the provider portal during headcount week each term. You can also submit supplementary claims for children who start or increase their hours with you after the headcount week. See the online headcount and provider portal page for more information.

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

The EYPP is additional funding that the government is making available for early years settings (including childminders) to improve the education they provide for disadvantaged three and four year olds.

You claim EYPP through the normal headcount process.


Disability Access Fund (DAF)

In response to the Early Years Funding Consultation the Government has announced increased support for children with disabilities through the introduction of a Disability Access Fund (DAF) which will provide £615 per year for every eligible child. The new funding comes into effect from 1 April 2017.


The funding is available for all three and four year old children who receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and are accessing free early education. Four year old children who are in primary reception classes are not eligible for the funding.


Parents are required to 'nominate' the provider they want the funding to be paid to. The funding is a one-off lump sum payment and is not transferable if the child moves to a different provider part way through the financial year. Subsequent providers will not receive any funding if the DAF has already been paid.

How to claim

In order to claim the funding you must submit a copy of the child's DLA eligibility letter and completed DAF application form:
For the Summer 2017 term completed applications and copy DLA letters must be received by 1 August 2017, and payment will be made in the Autumn 2017 term. Applications received after 1 August 2017 will not be paid until the Spring 2018.
In the event that more than one application is received in the financial year, the provider nominated by the parent in the first application will receive the funding.
Applications and copies of DLA letters must be sent by secure email to or by post to FEE Team, 2nd Floor, 58-60 Guild Hall Street, Preston, PR1 3NU.

Statutory guidance

Two year old places

Contact the FEE Team


FEE Help desk: 01772 533552

Call Centre: 0300 123 6712