Early years settings can claim extra funding through the Early Years Pupil Premium to support children’s development, learning and care.

The Early Years Pupil Premium provides an extra 62p an hour per child for eligible 3 and 4-year-old children whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits, or who have been in care or adopted from care.

This means an extra £353.40 a year for each child taking up the full 570 hours of the universal Early Years Entitlement.


To qualify, parents who receive any of the following are entitled to The Early Years Pupil Premium

  • Universal Credit with an annual income of less than £7,400
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (not contribution-based)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (not contribution-related)
  • Support from the National Asylum Support Service under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of the State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (as long as Working Tax Credit is not being paid) with an annual income of no more than £16,190
  • They have been in local-authority care for one day or more in England or Wales
  • They have been adopted from care in England or Wales
  • They have left care under a special guardianship order or child arrangement order in England or Wales.

How to apply

Parents need to apply by using the application form on the early years pupil premium information for parents page.  All applicants will receive a letter regarding the outcome of their application. The Entitlements Team will notify providers of those children that we have had legal documentation and a child registration form for and where qualifying criteria have been met.

Regular checks will be carried out to confirm continued eligibility. Parents are advised that they must notify the Entitlements Team if their circumstances change, as they may then no longer qualify for the additional funding.


Payment will commence in the funding period after the award and will be paid on the number of hours paid on your actual form or adjustment form. If a parent of a 3-year-old successfully applies for Early Years Pupil Premium on 15 April, Early Years Pupil Premium will not be paid until the autumn funding period.

The Early Years Pupil Premium follows the child, so if the child moves part way through the year, the funding will follow that child.

If an adjustment form is received that reduces the number of hours for a child eligible for Early Years Pupil Premium, the Early Years Pupil Premium will be reclaimed for these hours along with the claimed hours. For example, ZYX nursery claimed 100 hours on their actual form for Fred. 100 hour Early Years Pupil Premium has been paid. An adjustment form is then submitted,which reduces this to 70 hours. So, not only will 30 entitlement hours be reclaimed, 30 Early Years Pupil Premium hours will also be reclaimed.

Providers are encouraged to ask all parents to complete an application form and send it into the Entitlements Team so they can be checked to see if they qualify for Early Years Pupil Premium.

Parents may come and ask how the Early Years Pupil Premium is being spent, and Ofsted will expect to see how the money has been spent, and what benefit it has had on the children that qualify.

Last reviewed: August 8, 2023 by Keri

Next review due: February 8, 2024

Back to top