Funded Early Learning

Government funded childcare is available for all 3 and 4 year olds, and eligible 2 year olds. All eligible children are entitled to at least 570 hours of funded childcare each year.  In Sheffield this is known as Funded Early Learning or FEL.


All 3 and 4 year old children are currently entitled to 15 hours per week. Your child will qualify for this funding the term after their 3rd birthday:

Child's Birthday              Start from

1 April - 31 August             1 September (Autumn Term)

1 Sept - 31 December      1 January (Spring Term)

1 January - 31 March       1 April (Summer Term)


When your child is eligible for Funded Early Learning you will be able to use all or part of your entitlement with us as we are a registered provider. It is up to you how much of your funding you would like to use with Holmhirst Pre School and how much you may want to allocate to a different provider. Hours outside your funded allocation are charged at the standard fee.

As of September 2021, Holmhirst Pre School now also offer Funded Early Learning for eligible 2 year olds (once they are eligible to attend at 2 years 6 months).  Click here for further information about eligibility.

30 Hours FEL

Some 3 to 4 year olds from working families are eligible for 30 hours funded childcare a week.

A government application decides who is eligible.

When to apply

  • The earliest you can apply is 16 weeks before your child’s third birthday

  • The latest you can apply is when your child reaches compulsory school age

You must apply online through the Government Gateway. 

If you’re eligible, you will receive a childcare code online. The code is valid for 3 months.

Once you have this code please pass this on to us here at Pre School (and any other setting your child attends) so we can update our records and make the claim for the additional 15 hours.


You must re-confirm your eligibility for 30 hours funding every 3 months. You will get notified by HMRC when you need to do this. 

If your eligibility is not re-confirmed you are at risk of losing your funded place and we may have to charge you for the additional hours.