We will fund part-time early years entitlement places for three and four year olds starting from the funding period after the child’s third birthday. This is called the universal entitlement. Two year olds who meet the eligibility criteria can also access funding. For more information about the criteria for 2 year olds, please see our Funding for 2 year olds page.

Some working parents are entitled to an extra 15 hours per week early education and childcare for their 3 and 4 year old child on top of the current offer. This is called the extended entitlement. For more information on the eligibility criteria, please see our 30 hours funded childcare page.

The Early Years Entitlement can be claimed at:

  • a day nursery
  • a pre-school or playgroup
  • an independent school
  • a children’s centre nursery
  • a maintained nursery
  • a reception class in a primary or infant school
  • a foundation stage unit and academy
  • with an approved childminder

The provider must agree to abide by the terms and conditions in the Somerset Local Provider Agreement to offer the early years entitlement.

Deferred entry

The Department for Education (DfE) requires all Admission Authorities to offer parents the opportunity to defer their child’s entry to school. This means rather than the usual September entry, parents and carers can choose for their child to start later in the year, usually in January at the beginning of the Spring Term but they can defer until later in the year if they wish.